Chime 1Chime, a mobile banking challenger that says it helps customers avoid fees and automate their finances, has raised $18 million in Series B financing, led by global venture fund Cathay Innovation, reports Paybefore (Banking Technology‘s sister publication).

The company, co-founded by prepaid veteran Chris Britt, also reported that more than 500,000 bank accounts have been opened since the company’s 2014 launch.

Cathay Innovation led the round from its venture fund and offers a global investment network bridging North America, Europe and China.

Other new investors in the round include Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures and Omidyar Network, which invested through their Financial Inclusion initiative. Existing investors Crosslink Capital, Aspect Ventures, Forerunner Ventures and Homebrew also participated in the round bringing Chime’s total funding to $36 million.

“Look at any of the headlines these days and it’s clear that traditional US banks continue to fail millions of Americans with adversarial practices and opaque fee structures,” says Britt. “This financing allows us to rapidly scale a new approach to mobile banking that actually improves financial lives.”

Chime, which offers its banking services through a partnership with The Bancorp Bank, says members who enrolled in Chime’s automatic savings programme have tripled their average monthly savings.

In addition to investing in growth, the company will use this latest round of funding to launch new features to help members further automate their finances. Chime also will introduce new services through its open APIs and partnerships with financial companies to enable the Chime account to serve as a connected hub for customers to manage all of their financial accounts.

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