MoneyLion and the Journey to SPAC

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After finalizing the deal with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Fusion Acquisition Corp. this week, MoneyLion is now publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ML.

For additional insight into this milestone, we spoke with MoneyLion CEO and Co-Founder Dee Choubey. Prior to co-founding MoneyLion in 2013, Choubey spent over a decade on Wall Street inside the largest banks learning about the inefficiencies that exist within banking. He built MoneyLion to create a private banking experience for everyday Americans by offering credit, banking, and investing in a single app.

Talk to us about MoneyLion’s journey so far. What has growth been like since the company was founded in 2013?

Dee Choubey: We founded MoneyLion with the goal of rewiring the consumer finance system, giving hardworking Americans access to previously exclusive private banking services. At MoneyLion, we bring consumer finance into the future by combining AI, machine-learning technology, and behavioral science to create a full-service, digital financial platform for our users. Since 2013, we have engaged with over 8.5 million Americans, empowering them with a digital banking platform that helps them better manage their finances today and build wealth for tomorrow.

This has been a historic year for the company. Since announcing we were going public via a SPAC in February, to listing on the NYSE on September 23rd, we’ve continued to see consistent growth and a validation of our business plan. Entering the public markets will enable us to scale our capabilities and reach even more hardworking Americans. Since the start of 2021, we’re up across all key financial and operating metrics, including 100%+ year over year growth in net revenue. Our user growth has also accelerated this year, with total customers increasing almost 60% in the first half of 2021 to 2.3 million.

Earlier this month, we raised our annual revenue guidance for fiscal years 2021, 2022, and 2023 to reflect higher projected user growth, along with expected revenue contribution of planned product launches including our new crypto and Buy Now Pay Later offerings. As a public company, we will remain laser focused on positioning ourselves for optimal execution on our well-defined growth objectives.

How did you know that a SPAC was right for MoneyLion?

Choubey: For us, we’d spent the last eight years focusing on building proprietary technology. As we saw the product market fit of MoneyLion accelerating, we knew it was time to take MoneyLion’s innovative products to more Americans, and a SPAC provided us with an entry point to enhance our public presence as well as capitalize the business. As with everything we do at MoneyLion, it ties back to our mission: to provide top-notch financial access and bespoke advice to every hardworking American.

Listing via a SPAC was the best option for us due to its efficiency in allowing us to strengthen our balance sheet. With the capital we raised through this transaction, we are now able to accelerate the execution of our growth strategy, deliver against our mission, and provide incredible value to our customers and members.

What has been the hardest part of the SPAC process?

Choubey: If anything, our biggest challenge was timing. We announced the merger with Fusion Acquisition Corp in late February, expecting to be public somewhere in June or July. It took longer than anticipated to get through the whole process, in part due to the number of deals coming to the market.

With the merger behind us and our balance sheet fortified, we’re all very excited about this next chapter in the MoneyLion journey. For the past eight years we have been focused on building our proprietary tech stack, and we think we have one of the best platforms, not only here in the United States, but globally. We’re poised to build on that strong foundation and make MoneyLion a daily destination for all hard working Americans, combining our robust financial products and services with highly personalized content and advice to help our customers take control of their finances and achieve their life goals.

What advice would you offer other fintechs considering the SPAC route?

Choubey: Find the right partner with whom to go public. And that usually entails the sponsor’s knowledge of its investor base, their willingness to do whatever it takes to accurately position the company, as well as a specific understanding of the capital markets including the pipe market. At the end of the day, the fintech needs to have public market fit and a good sponsor can help create an efficient framework.

Will anything about MoneyLion change now that the acquisition is finalized?

Choubey: We’re no longer trading under FUSE; we’ve officially taken over the ML ticker on the New York Stock Exchange. For those that remember, ML was Merrill Lynch’s ticker, an iconic American financial institution. Today, we are immensely proud to have that ticker as we grow into our own iconic American brand. As we like to say, the ‘bull has become the lion’.

In terms of what’s happening within MoneyLion, we are going to continue to work hard and deliver against our mission: harnessing the power of technology to empower millions of hardworking Americans to take control of their finances so that they can achieve their life goals.


Photo by Corentin Marzin on Unsplash

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