Citi has committed to investing $200 million of its own money, not client capital, in companies that have a positive impact on society. On Monday, the company announced its new round of investments which brings the number of companies that Citi has supported up to 11.
Clerkie, a Black-owned financial services company that helps people get out of debt, is one of the three Black-owned companies that will be receiving funds. The company, founded by Guy Assad, is an artificial intelligence company that works with consumers and creditors to lighten debt burdens and losses.
“In just its first year, the Citi Impact Fund has invested in 11 companies, the majority of which are founded by women, minorities – and in some cases both – that have the potential to make our cities and communities more equitable and sustainable,” Citi’s head of global public affairs, Ed Skyler, said in a statement.
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Equitability is at the forefront of the company Perch, a new app founded by Michael Broughton, a young Black entrepreneur from LA. The company is aimed at young people who are not adept with banking and helps them build credit by covering already recurring payments that they may have.
Payments can include media subscriptions such as Netflix, but can also cover rent and utility payments. These users will not have to get a credit card and incur new expenses in order to build their credit.
“The economic and social challenges of the COVID-19 crisis have increased the urgency for new ways of working, and we’re focused on building on these investments to identify new partners this year,” Skyler continued.
One company that may do extremely well in the COVID-19 era is MedHaul. The Black-woman founded company is a ride-booking platform for non-emergency medical rides and is the first company to receive funding in their seed stage.
According to a study from the University of Michigan, almost three-fourths of ambulance providers don’t take patient’s insurance and about 80% of patients whose insurance does pay, have to pay $450 on average to cover the balance.
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“[MedHaul is] currently targeting the Southeastern U.S., a region that has a higher rate of poverty, rural areas suffering from hospital closers, and providers willing to use its service,” read a press release.
Though exact investment number for each company are not readily available, Citi said investments could be as high as $10 million.
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