Digital Banking Unicorn “Current” Hires General Counsel
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Finco Services Inc. is a digital banking startup now known as Current. Finco reached unicorn status this year. It recently announced it hired Jodi Golinsky to be its first general counsel.
Golinsky brings 20 years of financial services expertise to her role. Current spokeswoman Erin Bruehl explained that outside counsel Goodwin Procter “continues to provide valuable legal services” to the company.
General Counsel’s Experience
Bloomberg reports that Golinsky spent the past three years at Shopify Inc., where she led a legal department of 12. The legal department was responsible for legal, compliance, and strategy work. This work involved multiple product business lines at the e-commerce company and all financial solutions and services.
Before Shopify, Golinsky spent four years as general counsel and chief compliance officer at credit card startup FS Card Inc. Prior to that, she was U.S. Deputy General Counsel for Wonga Group Ltd., a now-defunct U.K. payday lender.
Golinsky began her legal career as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City. She was there for about three years before spending six-plus years at Mastercard Inc., where she was a vice president of regulatory and public policy counsel. Following that role, Golinsky became chief prepaid counsel at American Express Co.
At Shopify, which has recently overhauled its legal department, Golinsky worked from New York and from the Canadian company’s headquarters in Ottawa as a director and associate general counsel for financial solutions. Prior to Current, she helped Shopify build and scale its compliance and anti-money laundering team while taking on legal leadership at the company for accounts and cards, installments, lending, payments, and tax.
Golinsky received a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Current Valuation Triples
Current tripled its valuation in only five months this year. Its most recent financing round raised more than the $131 million the company raised in November 2020. Current CEO Stuart Sopp said that new investor Andreessen Horowitz led a Series D round that raised $220 million in a Series D round. The New York-based start-up’s previous round in November valued it at $750 million.
Sopp previously worked at Morgan Stanley as a former currency trader. He founded Current in 2015 and serves as its CEO. Sopp believes that banking should be accessible and affordable for everyone. The company’s “Current Core”, its custom-built banking technology, provides greater stability, faster money, and cost efficiencies that Current says it passes on to its members.
In addition to venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Current’s financial backers include music executive Scooter Braun’s venture capital firm TQ Ventures LLC, investment giants Avenir Corp., and Tiger Global Management LLC. Following a $220 million fundraising in April, the value of Current approximated $2.2 billion, according to CNBC.
“We have exceptional investors who have looked at Current deeply and believe that we’re one of the winners in this neobank space,” Sopp said recently in a Zoom interview.
Current notes on its website that it is a financial technology company—not a bank. The banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank. These groups also issue the Current Visa Debit Card.
The company has grown by focusing on Americans who earn $45,000 a year and whom traditional bank accounts may not serve well. This includes access to physical branches but also include overdraft and account maintenance fees. Current’s average customer age is 27. Cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York’s Brooklyn borough, contain much of the customer base. Half of Current’s customers are Black, according to Sopp.
Current, which began as a debit card business, announced earlier this year that it wants to expand its operations into other areas of the fintech space. For several years, there has been migration from banking to financial services. According to experts, this trend has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
Current reached 1 million customers in 2020 and now has nearly 3 million customers. Its competitors include Chime and Square’s Cash App.
“We will be expanding our product and our demographic reach over the next few years,” Sopp added. “We’re here to challenge the existing bank fraternity. Over the next 10 or 20 years, most young adults won’t see branches as a viable alternative to banking — it will be digital only, and they will have to catch up with us.”