Rapper “Killer Mike” launches new banking platform
Atlanta Rapper and community activist Mike Render, known by his stage name “Killer Mike”, has added a new title to his moniker, that of banker as he and his partners launched a digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people.
Bank Greenwood is the creation of the Run The Jewels rapper, along with former Atlanta Mayor and Ambassador Andrew J. Young, and Bounce TV network boss Ryan Glover.
Truist Bank, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase are among a growing list of major financial institutions invested and betting big on the success of Greenwood.
Greenwood is named after the early 20th century business district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was known as “Black Wall Street” and was ultimately destroyed by white mobs in one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history.
With the company focused on Black and Latinx Americans owning their own financial institutions with the digital banking platform, Greenwood has successfully raised roughly $40 million in Series A funding since its website launched in October, according to a joint announcement unveiled this week.
Glover says he has been working on Greenwood since 2018 and believes the timing couldn’t be more perfect given the cultural movement to support Black-owned businesses in the wake of the George Floyd killing last year. “Now we have closer to 600,000 folks that have joined our wait list,” Glover told CNN Business. “That’s just truly a testament to the need in the Black and Latinx community for financial empowerment.”
CNN Business was provided a statement from Render that says: “The challenge of the racial wealth gap can only be effectively addressed by a coalition focused on the mission of financial equity. Greenwood’s Series A funding round is a major step towards economic empowerment to Latino and Black individuals, families, and businesses by assembling multiple parties in finance and financial services to act in concert.”
Greenwood may be minority-owned, but Render and Glover emphasized that it’s a bank for all Americans who support its financial empowerment mission. “It’s a Black bank that services the diversity of the people,” Render said. “We wish to jump in the pool, be one of the competitors, and help to bring banking back to our community to build businesses that will be better for the greater good.”
Glover said Greenwood is on track to launch its online debit and spending account services some time in July with the company rolling out its lending and credit account services by the end of this year and unveiling its investment product offerings some time in 2022.