Austin, TX - March 10, 2022 – Chipper, the app working to empower student loan borrowers to chip away at their debt faster, announced today it has received a $5.6 million seed investment. The round was led by Freestyle Capital, Slauson & Co., and Propel Venture. Backers also include investors from the Cap Table Coalition and fintech leaders Ethan Bloch of Digit, founder of Loop John Henry, and Craig Lewis of Gig Wage.
With this investment, Chipper expects to quickly grow its existing user base of 80,000+ users, as 45M+ people will go back into repayment in May. Funds are allocated in preparation for the moratorium lift through team growth, marketing, and product expansions including the launch of new programs like Chipper Rewards. By accelerating its capabilities and offering comprehensive solutions to its users, Chipper will surely emerge as the go-to app for paying off student loans.
“As a first-gen high school and college graduate who experienced the trials of conquering student debt, I wanted to create a simple solution for all student loan borrowers to manage their debt and navigate a realistic path to financial freedom,” said Tony Aguilar, founder and CEO of Chipper. “With this new round of funding and payments resuming in May, we know 2022 will be a big year for Chipper. This funding will allow us to grow our user base and help borrowers with their student loan journeys from start to finish.”
Launched in 2020, Chipper empowers student loan borrowers to improve their financial health by providing transparent, seamless student loan repayment solutions and is the only student loan app to support borrowers in every step of their journey. Chipper saves users an average of $309/month and has helped qualified applicants receive a total of $81 million in forgiveness since its launch. The company is currently growing 40% month over month, demonstrating its unique position in the student loan space.
Chipper’s revenue is obtained through a tiered membership program. It’s completely free to sync loans from your servicer and explore forgiveness and repayment options. Users can enroll with Chipper+ for additional support, auto-enrollment for forgiveness or repayment programs, and access to round-ups for $4/month. Users can also access the round-ups service on its own for $2/month. For now, all Chipper services are free until the loan moratorium is lifted on May 1, as borrowers aren’t making payments.
“This funding round is more than an investment in our product and team; it is personal for me as a Latino founder as we work to close the gap on both sides of the table in venture capital. As we climb, we must pull others along with us where we can. We started Chipper with the mission of helping those hit the hardest by student debt, which are people of color. I’m excited to partner with the Cap Table Coalition and pledge more than 25% of this round to diverse investors,” said Aguilar.
“This new funding round positions Chipper for tremendous growth in the year ahead,” said Austin Clements, managing partner at Slauson & Co. “We believe that Chipper is revolutionizing the way people approach the difficult and confusing student loan process, making it digestible and far more accessible to the millions of people that need them. We are proud that this joint investment will allow Chipper to chart new paths for expansion and product development, all contributing to its greater mission to help millions of post-graduates grappling with student debt, especially people of color and women. Slauson & Co. looks forward to what Tony and Chipper will accomplish with this new investment.”
There is a gap in the VC community with only 3% of venture capital investors being Black or Latinx, and only 1.1% of all private funds having Black, Latinx, or female managers. The Cap Table Coalition is an organization made up of high-growth startups, VC firms, and emerging fund managers working to close the racial wealth gap. The Cap Table Coalition is providing a simple way for companies and firms to increase representation and funding in the venture capital ecosystem. High-growth startups looking to get involved can pledge to allocate 10% of all their funding rounds to the organization to be distributed to Black, Latinx, and other underrepresented investors. Chipper is taking this commitment one step further and contributing 25% of the company’s seed round to the coalition.
“This funding round is a prime example of what can be achieved if we bring together founders and diverse investor groups looking to transform the venture capital landscape,” said Elizabeth Grier at The Cap Table Coalition. “These investors envision the future of venture capital—and technology as a whole—as one that is inclusive of great minds from all gender groups, ethnic backgrounds and walks of life.”
Chipper is a simple app that helps users optimize and chip away at their student loan debt faster than traditional repayment methods. A comprehensive digital solution for student loan borrowers, Chipper’s algorithm identifies options for repayment, management and even loan forgiveness tailored to individual users. Chipper guides users through their recommended plans, streamlines paperwork, and provides 1-on-1 advice from its team of student loan experts. With a mission to empower student loan borrowers to make smart decisions and alleviate the burden of enormous debt, Chipper provides an authentic pathway to success and financial wellness.
Founded by Tony Aguilar in 2018 and headquartered in Austin, TX, Chipper has already helped over 80,000 customers conquer student debt up to four years faster. Chipper services included provide an average savings of $309 per month. Chipper allows customers to round up everyday purchases and apply that amount to their student loans so small contributions chip away at debt to become huge savings. Chipper also offers multiple services and solutions including forgiveness, lower payments and more for all student loan borrowers.
About Cap Table Coalition
The Cap Table Coalition aims to diversify the venture capital ecosystem and close the racial wealth gap by creating investment opportunities for Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, Native American, women, and other traditionally marginalized investors. The Cap Table Coalition was inspired by the Act One Diversity Rider for VCs and Finix's unique fundraising efforts to diversify startup cap tables. The Coalition has made it as easy as possible for all companies and firms to join the movement.
Alex Miller Murphy