TOP NEWS Raises $9M To Ramp Mobile Banking Efforts

Santa Monica-based, the online financial services provider led by Ben Katz, is announcing this morning that it has raised $9M in a growth capital facility, from Columbia Pacific Advisors' Growth Capital Strategy and Fenway Summer Ventures. The company offers up a prepaid MasterCard which can be customized with a user's favorite brands and characters, from the Walking Dead and Family Guy, to Sesame Street, Star Trek and the Care Bears. has used those branded cards to carved out an interesting business in the financial services area as a "branchless banking" provider, with more than $450 million in deposits to date, according to the company. The company said its cards are actually being used as a replacement to traditional, branch banking, with users treating its prepaid cards as a way to manage their petty cash, budgeting, and personal spending. Katz said that it is opening more bank accounts daily on smartphones than Wells Fargo or Chase. The company says it opened up more than 50,000 new accounts, which are directly held at a FDIC Member bank, in October. has 35 employees in Los Angeles.