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Fizz Debit Card Debuts with Focus on Credit Building and Financial Literacy

  • Carlo Kobe and Scott Smith founded Fizz to create a debit card for Gen Z promoting credit accumulation and financial literacy.
  • Unlike many fintech startups, Fizz built its infrastructure from scratch and partnered directly with Lead Bank, launching their debit card in early 2023.
  •  Fizz secured seed funding of $14.4 million from Kleiner Perkins, SV Angel, Y Combinator, and others.

Carlo Kobe and Scott Smith were so sure there was a need for Gen Zers to have a debit card that they dropped out of Harvard at 19 and Cornell at 21 in 2021 to start Fizz.

Their vision was much more than making a debit card for the younger generation. They intended to turn the card into an instrument of credit accumulation, financial literacy, and financial self-sufficiency. 

For this reason, they decided to make an artificial intelligence budgeting feature the main element of their product and present financial literacy courses as an entertaining and engaging quiz.

Their target market is college students within the age bracket of 18 to 24 years old.

Where they differ is in the fact that they did not use various fintech SaaS vendors but were building their infrastructure from scratch.

Moreover, Fizz did not cooperate with an indirect partner like most banking-as-a-service (BaaS) startups have done.

In the first two years, they worked on developing the technology infrastructure and cultivated a partnership with Lead Bank.

Block’s former executive, Jacqueline Reses, purchased this Kansas City-based bank in 2022. Fizz introduced its debit card to the market in the first half of 2023.

Fizz stated that it has secured $14.4 million in seed funding. The round was managed by Kleiner Perkins, SV Angel, Y Combinator, New Era Ventures, and the founders of Handshake, Postmates, and Public. com.

Fizz was one of the companies that was in Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 batch.

The Fizz team includes 11 senior engineers and designers from Meta, Microsoft, and Amex.

Its main competitors are traditional banks such as Discover, Capital One, and Bank of America and personal finance and budgeting tools like Rocket Money and Credit Karma.

Edited By Annette George