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Propel (company)

Propel (company)

Propel builds software dedicated to helping low-income Americans improve their financial health with technology.

Jimmy Chen founded Propel in 2014. In 2016, Propel introduced the mobile app FreshEBT. 

FreshEBT

The app allows users of the Electronics Transfer Benefit (EBT) card and receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to check their balances, find stores which accept SNAP, track their spending, use digital coupons and search their job board. To help users find discounts and coupons, Propel partnered with Quotient Technology, a digital promotions, media and analytics company.



FreshEBT tries to help users budget their benefits. They offer a tool where they hide benefits so users can't see them. And they offer users a recommended weekly budget. They offer, with cookbook author Leanne Brown, low-cost, high-nutrition recipes. And the app lists places where further assistance can be found, such as non-profits and food pantries.



The app is free to use both for consumers and government agencies. Propel makes money through funding, digital coupons and their job board.

Funding

Seed

Propel announced in June, 2015, $1.2 million raised in funding from the Financial Solutions lab Cash Flow Management Competition.

Convertible Note

In June 2015, Propel announced $250,000 in a convertible note from the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).

Seed - 2

Announced in April, 2017, Propel raised $4 million in seed funding. Investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Omidyar Network, The Durant Company, SciFi VC, Jay Borenstein, WinWin Ventures and the Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

Series A

Propel raised $12.8 million in their Series A funding announced in December of 2018. Nyca Partners led the round which included participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Omidya Network, Alexa von Tobel and Thirty Five Ventures.

Timeline

Funding rounds

2 Results
Funding round
Funding round
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding type
Funding type
Funding round date
Funding round date
Investment
Investment

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Jeff Kaiser

COO



Jimmy Chen

Founder and CEO



Ram Mehta

CTO



Further reading

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Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

a16z Podcast: Modernizing Government Services, from Food Stamps to Foster Care - Andreessen Horowitz

June 7, 2017

Financial Inclusion in America - Propel: An App That Makes Checking Food-Stamp Balances Easier

April 26, 2018

Software: More than Just Cool Apps, It Can Change the World | Jimmy Chen | TEDxZumbroRiver

August 11, 2017

Using apps to improve the lives of low-income Americans | SciTech Now

July 22, 2016

Companies

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CEO
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References