SMB banking startup Novo raises $35m

Novo, a digital-only bank for US small businesses, has topped up its Series B funding round with a $35 million investment from GGV Capital.

Novo Business Banking Review | Application Walkthrough

The Novo Bank offers a business checking account perfect for online banking free of charge and bolstered with business tools.

If you own a small business, have a side hustle, or even a part-time gig/hobby this might be a great option for you. Although the bank account has fewer features than a traditional bank, it makes up for it with a unique digital banking experience. Comment your thoughts below!

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Novo Business Checking Account | Full Application Walkthrough & Platform Overview

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Novo’s Michael Rangel: ‘Solving SMB banking requires addressing the fragmentation’

Welcome to the Tearsheet Podcast. I’m Zack Miller.

For US entrepreneurs, it was strange what was happening overseas. There wasn’t one but a handful of challenger banks launching that were changing the entire banking experience. Singup was quick — there was a buzz around their FX, lending, and spending products. But when you looked at what was happening domestic, well, the early neobanks hadn’t really caught on.

Novo’s Michael Rangel set out to change that. And instead of focusing on the consumer, he went after the business customer — a harder and more complicated route to take. Novo now has a business banking platform in market and is going up against some of the biggest banks in the US.

SMBs are underserved and we talk about the approach Novo is taking for building its product for such a fragmented market. Mike describes how the massive opportunity for SMB banking requires a platform approach. We also discuss the dichotomy between digital banking for consumers versus SMBs and how Novo plans to bridge that gap.

Michael Rangel is my guest today on the Tearsheet Podcast.

I’d like to thank our sponsor MX for supporting Tearsheet’s work. MX is the leading data platform for banks, credit unions and fintechs, enabling its clients and partners to easily collect, enhance, analyze, present and act on financial data.

NOVO Business Banking Review | BEST Bank Account for Side Hustles

NOVO Business Banking Review

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So for starters, what is NOVO, and what makes it any different than a regular everyday bank account. Well, Novo is a fully online banking platform that is specifically built and designed for your small business or side hustle. As far as your basic banking features are concerned, again they’re going to be fully online with an awesome mobile app, You’re fully FDIC insured, and there are no fees and no minimum balance requirements including no fees on an unlimited number of ACH transfers going in or out. You can also get your own Novo business debit card, deposit checks remotely right from the app, and send checks through the app or order your own paper checkbook if you prefer that. Plus perhaps my favorite part, they’re going to reimburse all ATM fees worldwide. Plus they allow you to send unlimited invoices through their integrated invoicing tool and their own business budgeting tool called Novo Reserves where you can set money aside for emergencies, your taxes, or any other expense category that you may have.

Not only do they have those business tools themselves, but one area that is truly unique about NOVO that I have not found with a lot of other business banking platforms is their integration with a number of third-party business tools. Novo seamlessly integrates with a ton of external platforms like QuickBooks, Xero, Transferwise, Shopify, Slack, and a ton of others and this allows you to use those powerful third-party tools as an extension of this bank account without having to deal with clumsy transfers or confusion between the two different platforms. And as if that wasn’t cool enough, the invoicing tool that we talked about earlier can also be integrated with platforms like Square, PayPal, and Stripe to seamlessly accept payments that go right through that payment processor and are immediately integrated with your business banking account.

On top of that, they also offer a crazy amount of really useful discounts on various business software and services that in my opinion or tools that a lot of business owners probably use anyways. The list is pretty extensive but at the moment you can get 40% off your first to six months of QuickBooks, $150 worth of Google ads and Snapchat ads, $3000 in Google cloud credits and if you integrate that invoicing tool with the Stripe platform, then you can get your first $20,000 of transactions processed for free which equals a cash savings of $500 and these are just a few of the perks that they currently offer.

Alright so as you can tell there’s a reason that I picked Novo as my personal business account for this YouTube channel but what’s the catch? Well honestly, I’ve got nothing. The only con that I can think of is that there is currently no way to deposit cash directly through the app however this is fairly normal with these fully mobile banks and since they offer unlimited mobile check deposits, if you really needed to deposit cash then you could always take that cash and buy a money order at any grocery store, post office or other major retailer and then deposit that money order into your account right from your phone.

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