Montreal startup Mylo Financial Technologies is expanding to Europe thanks in part to a $10-million Series A round last November led by NAventures, the VC arm of the National Bank. The company also announced that it would change its name to Moka.
Marketed to millennials, the fintech’s app links to a user’s debit or credit card and rounds up purchases, then invests the difference in exchange-traded funds. Users can also invest lump sums. The app is free to use, but portfolio manager Tactex Asset Management charges $3 a month, regardless of the amount of assets under management.
A National Bank-led $10-million Series A raise last November provided the capital for Moka’s European expansion. The investment is part of NAventure’s play for millennials, who have a far lower engagement rate with banking institutions than their boomer forebears.
The app has been downloaded over 750,000 times since its 2017 launch and currently has about 500,000 users, according to Moka CEO Philip Barrar. The company has a waitlist of 10,000 people in France following a soft launch of the app there. “Overall in Europe, there is a need for an investor product like this as there was in North America,” Barrar told The Logic.
NAventures’ investment in the company is part of a roughly $30-million fintech play targeting millennial-friendly fintech apps. It has also invested in credit score-monitoring app Borrowell, insurance sales app Breathe and telehealth company Dialogue, among others.
For banks, millennials are a tricky generation to please. While they have surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S. and are generally interested in saving, they have a far lower engagement rate with banking institutions than their boomer brethren, according to a 2018 Gallup study.
“It’s a strategic play for the bank to help in its transformation,” said NAventures director Igal Ohayon. “Millennials want to do everything on their phone. They generally don’t go to their bank branch. Apps like Moka really capitalize on this, and the bank sees opportunities in these partnerships.”
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Desjardins Capital also invested in last fall’s $10-million raise. Barrar said Moka is planning on raising “an aggressive early round” next year to scale the product in the European market.