NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2022 — Hazel, the independent fintech launched in partnership with Walmart and leading investment firm Ribbit Capital, today announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire fintech platforms Even and ONE, marking the startup’s emergence from stealth mode. The transactions, which are expected to close in the first half of 2022 pending approvals, equip the combined business with immediate momentum in its strategy to deliver a single financial services app that empowers consumers to get paid, spend, save, borrow and grow their money.
Millions of Americans today can’t access credit, build savings or wealth and are left to manage their financial lives through multiple disconnected apps. Almost a quarter of U.S. adults are unbanked or underbanked, and roughly 80% of fintech users rely on multiple accounts to manage their finances.
The combined business, which will operate under the brand name ONE, will provide users with an all-in-one financial services app to holistically manage their finances in one place. The company’s products and services will be made available directly to consumers and through employers and merchants, including access to Walmart’s 1.6 million U.S. associates and 100 million-plus weekly shoppers.
Omer Ismail will lead the combined business as CEO of ONE. David Baga, CEO of Even, and Brian Hamilton, co-founder of ONE, will remain in key leadership positions. Upon closing of the transactions, the combined business will have more than 200 employees and be capitalized with more than $250 million in cash on the balance sheet to fund future growth.
“Consumers everywhere are being left behind by the world of financial services,” said Omer Ismail, incoming CEO of ONE. “Our vision is clear: build on Even and ONE’s success to offer a product that offers consumers the best way to spend, the best way to access their wages and helps millions save and grow their money. I’m looking forward to partnering with two stellar leaders in Brian and David to improve the financial lives of tens of millions of consumers.”
The moves bring together two established platforms in Even, a financial benefits platform that enables employees to access their earned wages on-demand, budget and save, and ONE, a direct-to-consumer fintech that partners with Coastal Community Bank to seamlessly combine saving, spending and borrowing in one digital account. Together, the businesses will be integrated into a single app that will be available to consumers everywhere as ONE, along with:
- A growing world-class team: This combination brings together industry-leading teams from Even and ONE, with plans to expand ONE post-close by hiring best-in-class talent, including through potential M&A.
- The scale of Walmart: Over time, the ONE app will be integrated inside Walmart’s physical and digital channels, offering solutions to its 1.6 million U.S. associates and 100 million-plus weekly shoppers.
- Broad availability and additional partnerships: As a standalone company and app, ONE will be available directly to consumers across the U.S., and through partnerships with other leading employers and merchants.
“Walmart is constantly looking for new ways to deliver on our core mission of helping our customers save money and live better,” said John Furner, president and CEO, Walmart U.S. and board member of the combined business. “Customers have made it clear that they want more from us in the financial services arena. Creating a simple, personalized app that allows users to manage their money in one place is the natural next step toward fulfilling that. We couldn’t be more excited about what this will mean for Walmart customers, associates and consumers everywhere as we try to help empower millions to improve their financial lives.”
"Consumers are always seeking better services, and in financial services this means transparency, access and simplicity,” said Micky Malka, managing partner, Ribbit Capital and board member of the combined business. “The combination of these world-class teams and products will give ONE a unique opportunity to bring a new level of service and access to millions of Americans.”
Even is a leading financial benefits platform that pairs earned wage access with powerful tools for budgeting, emergency savings and visibility into projected net earnings to better support the financial health of its users. To date, Even has helped over 2 million members access more than $3 billion in on-demand pay and set aside over $300 million for emergencies, medical costs and other unexpected expenses. Leading employers like Walmart, PayPal, Noodles, Humana and Mattress Firm partner with Even to invest in the financial health of their workforce. Even recently ranked among the fastest-growing companies in North America on the 2021 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™. The app can be found at even.com.
“My team and I at Even have long believed that the work we’re doing is crucial for the millions of U.S workers living paycheck to paycheck who are seeking financial stability,” said David Baga, CEO of Even. “Joining forces with Hazel and ONE is a critical step to doing the most good for the most people. With these resources and this team, we're able to create real, tangible change in the lives of those who desperately need it. I can't wait to introduce the market to what is possible with people-first, technology-enabled personal finance.”
ONE is a fintech company co-founded in 2019 by Brian Hamilton. The company partners with Coastal Community Bank to seamlessly combine saving, spending and borrowing into one account, offering a debit card, checking and savings accounts, along with “Pockets,” which allow users the ability to organize their money and budget flexibly. The existing app can be found at one.app.
“There has been no shortage of fintech innovation in the last decade — yet many American families haven’t felt the benefits in their daily financial lives,” said Hamilton. “Our mission has always been grounded in disrupting that reality — and helping Americans build healthier financial habits. This combination will help us accelerate that mission, delivering our platform to customers and families who will benefit most from it.”