Personal financial management is one of many necessary tasks that’s often easier said than done. In the U.S., millions of people, including many of those with full-time jobs, have a hard time balancing bills alongside their day-to-day spending. On top of that, even those with full-time jobs may not have much wiggle room to make financial mistakes.
Built to help remedy this kind of financial strain for people across the country, Dallas-based fintech platform Highline launched and announced it raised $4.5 million in seed funding on Wednesday. The round was led by Foundation Capital and Costanoa Ventures.
More than 40 million Americans who make at least $40,000 a year may still have trouble maintaining a good credit score or obtaining one at all, according to Highline. The company works to help people improve their access to credit with its bill payment solution.
Highline works by offering users the option to link their bill payments straight to their payroll, rather than to their bank account. Lenders present users with Highline as a payment option, enabling that person to let Highline set up direct deposit payments. From that point, the platform manages any payments before routing any excess money back to the user. The goal is to help users get approved better credit rates and avoid missed payments or overdraft fees.
“The creation of API access to payroll platforms (such as Argyle) has opened up the opportunity to create this new payment method,” Geoff Brown, Highline’s CEO, told Built In over email. “By automating payments outside of the consumer’s checking account, we can create a far more reliable solution for both consumers and billers. This in turn gives people access to better financial products based on the work that they do instead of a credit report.”
The platform was created by two veterans in the banking and lending space. Brown was previously the head of credit risk at loans company Salary Finance while co-founder and COO Darin Cline is a former founding member of Marcus by Goldman Sachs. To fuel their latest endeavor, Highline secured funding of its own to build out its solution that could help numerous people across the country.
Highline plans to invest its seed funding in building out its platform to optimize customer experience, as well as expanding its 16-person team. The Dallas-based company is hiring with a focus on its go-to-market and engineering departments.