Clair, a social-impact fintech, formally announced the closure of a $4.5 million seed round led by Upfront Ventures, Founder Collective, and Walkabout Ventures to disrupt the payday lending industry.
What To Know? Clair is a holistic solution for instant pay access as a service for human capital management and the gig economy.
As part of a vision to reduce payment wait times, Clair offers emerging gig platforms and traditional workforce management systems instant payment services.
The development comes as nearly 40% of Americans say they would struggle to cover unexpected expenses as low as $250.
“We are thrilled to be one of the only sources of free capital for America’s hourly and gig workers” said Nico Simko, Clair’s Co-Founder and CEO.
“We believe that everybody should be able to freely access money they’ve already earned. There are more payday lenders than McDonald’s in the US that charge on average more than 300% annual interest on loans. So we have one simple vision: it’s time for change.”
Why It Matters: Overall, Clair is a benefit to both sides of the employer-employee relationship.
The company embeds its financial services within workforce management, payroll, and gig platforms, providing free payment advances on earned wages via the Clair debit card. Additionally, Clair offers workforce management software providers plug-and-play APIs which allow them to set up instant payments and offer Clair products to clients in very little time.
“With small business employees making up nearly 50% of the country’s workforce, employers often don’t have enough scale to offer better benefits on their own so they look towards their software providers,” said Simko. “By enabling these providers, we are bridging a gap and empowering them with functionalities their users want”.
Going forward, the company will become an end-to-end fintech solution for full financial freedom, adding onto existing solutions like automatic reminders to put money aside.
“For us, success means that after a few years of using Clair, our users no longer need to request wage advances because we’ve helped them get out of living paycheck-to-paycheck,” said Simko.
To learn more about Clair, click here.