Hyve’s money app is targeting Gen Z and young millennials with a way to pay down debt, save and invest with the help of friends and family. The social finance app is now open to the public after a year testing the product with hundreds of beta users.
Hyve is building a multiplayer fintech infrastructure for saving and investing where users can create their network of supporters, and those people can automatically round up their purchases to match the user’s personal cash contributions. The more people added to the “hyve,” the more money the user saves to reach their goals.
Social finance is by no means a new concept, think Public.com, Frich Money, Braid, Follow and Shares. However, Royi Markowitz, co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that Hyve is a hybrid between Venmo and Acorns and differentiates itself from competitors through its infrastructure.
“At our core is our ledger, which is the money movements within the platform,” Markowitz said. “To convert a single-player ledger into a hybrid 3D multiplayer ledger is very, very difficult, especially for a company that already has hundreds of line items in their ledger. Hyve is really the only place where I could use my credit card to send you $1 or $20 or $1,000 into your investment portfolio and be part of your savings so you can get there faster.”
Here’s how it works: After downloading the app and creating a profile, users link their bank accounts and set up automated deposits. Then they create their first goal and share that with friends and family. Users can also discover other people’s goals via Hyve’s social feeds and support them.
The free app’s features include that auto round up of purchases, one-click investing from a savings account and 2.10% APY on all savings account balances. There are also financial tools to help eliminate debt.
Hyve is pre-revenue and still in the very early stages, but through its beta program users have created a “hyve” with an average of about three people and created savings goals that they want to achieve that total over $850,000. Markowitz expects to reach 100,000 active users over the next year.
Future planning for revenue includes charging for the creation of “smart” goals, saving up to pay student loans, a fee to connect users to lenders, access to insights and loan refinancing opportunities.
And though it is focused on consumers, Markowitz said the company recently secured its first employer — which he declined to name — that adds 300 new customers to the roughly 1,000 people currently on the waitlist. Under this model, employers will pay Hyve a SaaS fee for each employee.
The company raised $2.25 million in a pre-seed round in January 2022 from an investor group that included The Flying Whale VC, MoreVC and the founders of Guardio. It is currently raising another round of funding that is expected to close later this year.