Fintech industry veterans launch Highline with $4.5M seed funding to improve access to credit for 40M Americans

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Highline – a payroll-linked bill payment method – launched today with $4.5 million in seed funding led by Foundation Capital and Costanoa Ventures. Highline’s goal is to empower Americans to take control of their finances based on their income rather than their credit score. By tying their bill payments to their payroll – compared to the current bank account norm – more people can pay their bills on time and in full, which in turn allows them to access better credit rates and reduce unnecessary costs.

More than 40 million Americans have good jobs but have subprime or no credit scores. These Americans may be low-income families with little financial cushion, or wage earners who are simply too busy or inexperienced to pay their bills on time. The burden of juggling money, bills, and day-to-day expenses can lead to potentially costly mistakes.

“The majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, which leads to negative consequences such as overdraft fees and missed payments,” said Geoff Brown, CEO and Founder of Highline. “Highline believes access to better financial solutions starts with reinventing the broken bill payment system.”

Highline’s founding team has extensive banking and lending experience. COO Darin Cline was a founding team member at Marcus by Goldman Sachs; CEO Geoff Brown was most recently head of credit risk at Salary Finance (personal payroll loans) as well as head of pricing at Santander.

“The vast majority of the US consumer lending industry has sought out payroll-based loans at one time or another,” said Zach Noorani, partner at Foundation Capital. “But until Highline, it was simply never possible to get away from selling to each employer individually. This is a huge step forward in terms of credit risk innovation.

Highline is creating a new and better way to pay directly tied to people’s income, rather than their bank accounts, by creating direct access to payroll platforms through application programming interfaces (APIs). Highline helps consumers ensure their bills are paid on time and in the right amounts by automatically routing them from their paychecks.

By making these payments reliable, Highline creates a win-win situation for billers and consumers. Consumers avoid overdrafts and late fees, have confidence that their bills are paid on time, and have access to better credit terms, regardless of their credit history. Highline also helps billers and lenders reduce collection costs, credit losses and customer churn, allowing them to offer lower interest rates to more people.

“Highline’s approach can play a major role in creating greater financial inclusion,” said Amy Cheetham, Partner at Costanoa Ventures. “Millions of Americans have long needed low-cost credit options, and Highline’s experienced team is uniquely positioned to provide it.”

This funding will allow Highline to continue to grow its team and further develop its platform.

About Highline

Highline is a payments startup helping millions of people turn their careers into better credit. By automating the payment of bills from their income, consumers can get approved for credit at a lower cost and pay off their loans faster without worrying about missed payments and overdraft fees. A simplified bill payment process can drive greater financial inclusion, and Highline’s payment method now makes it possible. Learn more about Highline

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