With the rise of modern embedded banking platforms such as Unit, we are increasingly seeing the emergence of purpose-built financial applications suited for unique market segments. Some examples are Seis, which is targeting the 44 million Spanish-speaking Americans, Onward, which is aimed at the unique workflows of divorced or separated parents, and Ellis which is aimed at immigrants moving to America.
One such subgroup in particular caught our eye due to their growing importance in the modern economy - the digital entrepreneur. More and more Americans are choosing to “opt out” of traditional employment and work for themselves as content creators, e-commerce sellers, etc across a number of digital platforms such as Shopify, TikTok, Instagram, and the like, which have unlocked this demand due to their pervasiveness and sustained growth. Of course all of this has been further catalyzed due to the massive upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the “great resignation”, and the increased feasibility of remote work.
And yet this growing segment has fallen through the cracks of existing product offerings; digital entrepreneurs sit somewhere between an individual and a traditional business, and as a result are ill served by products meant for either group. Many are forced to “cross the streams” and use their own personal checking account for deposits, wires, and checks - predictably leading to complexity and challenges around taxes, access to capital, and cash flows.
Winden is changing that. Winden is a new neobank aimed specifically at digital entrepreneurs, offering deposit banking, spend management, and other financial products uniquely tailored towards this segment and their workflows. With solopreneurs growing 24% YoY and the now nearly 2m Shopify sellers in the market, it is a valuable and growing constituency to be building for.
Leading the charge at Winden is Daniel Sathyanesan. After stints at Retool and Apple, he decided to pursue digital entrepreneurship himself. It was this experience that gave him such deep-rooted empathy for this portion of the workforce and inspired him to fix the problems he experienced first hand. In less than a year, they've made incredible progress, bringing to market a fully-featured banking product (built on Unit!) with over 2000 businesses on the waitlist. The strong response and word of mouth from early customers speaks to just how tailored the product is for this use case.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Accel is leading Winden’s seed financing, alongside Lachy Groom, Sheel Mohnot, and a number of executives, founders, and builders from prominent fintech startups such as Ramp, Affirm, Deel, Pipe, Plaid, etc. Winden represents the latest in a long tradition of fintech investing by Accel, joining companies such as Unit, Coast, Higo, Melio, Truebill, Socure, Braintree, and Venmo. And in Winden, we see the same potential to transform financial resources for some of the fastest growing segments of the global economy.
- Amit Kumar