Teen-focused banking App Step has secured backing from some of the biggest names in music, movies, sports and TikTok, raising $50m during a recent funding round from celebrities including Will Smith, The Chainsmokers, Justin Timberlake, Eli Manning and TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio. D’Amelio, who has nearly 100m followers on the video app, has now come on board as an investor, after initially teaming with Step as the face of its Gen Z-targeted marketing efforts. She says her involvement opened her eyes to how the app provides “the educational resources that today’s teens need but have largely been unable to find—myself included”. “I’m excited to be able to use my platform to help close this gap and have made a direct investment in Step to help them develop even more useful products,” the social media star added.
Charli D’Amelio, 16 years old and is the most-followed person on TikTok with 93.2 million followers. D’Amelio took off on the platform in July 2019 when she posted a side-by-side video of her dancing, paired with a video from a user called “Move With Joy.” Since then, D’Amelio has skyrocketed to stardom with her moves, appearing in a 2020 Super Bowl commercial and dancing in a Jennifer Lopez music video. Charli earns an estimated $4 million a year from TikTok and Dixie takes in an estimated $2.9 million, according to Forbes.
Launched by CJ MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko, Step is a mobile bank aimed at increasing financial literacy in teens that has attracted 500,000 young users in just two months. The platform offers P2P payments, a Visa-backed card, and does not charge any fees to holders of its FDIC insured accounts. “We’ve seen massive demand for this new type of all-in-one banking solution,” says CEO and cofounder MacDonald, adding the most recent investment “not only validates what we’ve built, but it will also help us continue to innovate and grow with our users.”