The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant and Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul have become investors in Goalsetter, a financial literacy app. Created by Founder-CEO Tanya Van Court (a former Nickelodeon executive), the financial tech company recently raised $3.9 million in a seed round that included the NBA stars alongside former NBA player Baron Davis, and ex-New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia.
Philanthropist Robert F. Smith (Founder, Chairman & CEO of Vista Equity Partners), Amber Sabathia (Executive Director of PitCCh In), and actors Sterling K. Brown (This is Us) and Ryan Bathe (The First Wives Club) are the other renowned investors. The funding round was led by Astia, with participation from PNC Bank, Mastercard, US Bank, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Elevate Capital, Portfolia’s FirstStep Fund and Rising America Fund, and Pipeline Angels.
Goalsetter may look like a simple mobile banking app that allows peer-to-peer transactions, but it has unique features to enable financial education elements among people, especially Black youth. For instance, the feature ‘Learn to Earn’ lets kids earn money for every financial quiz question they get right, and ‘Learn Before You Burn’ helps parents in automatically freezing their kids’ debit cards if they don’t take their financial literacy quizzes for the week. In September 2020, Goalsetter was featured as the Apple App of the Day.
In a statement about this investment, Durant said, “We are proud to support Goalsetter in their mission to increase financial literacy in Black and Brown communities. Financial education is fundamental to building wealth. We are excited for young people and families to have this tool as they take control of their financial future and become savvy investors and future entrepreneurs.”
Notably, this is not Durant’s first experience in financial literacy industry. In 2016, he invested in a micro-investing app, Acorns that allows users to invest leftover change. The company received an $860 million valuation in January 2019.
Praising the athletes for investing in Goalsetter, Van Court said, “It means so much that they are putting money behind a Black woman-owned company when we all know Black women-owned companies have been the last on the totem pole of venture capitalists. It’s larger than just a check. They are investing in the next generation of kids to make sure they learn financial education. To make sure they learn how to save early and develop savings habits. But they also are investing in the fabric of ownership in Black America.”
The funds from this seed round would be used to expand the company’s mobile application platform and accelerate subscriber growth. More corporate partnerships will be revealed later this year. Furthermore, Goalsetter will launch a unique initiative to help promote the app amid Black History Month.