By Nancy Dahlberg
Imagine a world where kids understood at 18 how credit is calculated. That would drastically reduce the amount of early debt and do much more, says Miami entrepreneur Evan Leaphart.
“To a kid that grew up in Overtown, there is no such thing as a friends and family round but if you had good credit you would have access to business loans or a line of credit to start something on your own. This is something that is of benefit to the under-represented community because having good credit is one of the few equalizers that we have in our country.”
Leaphart and his team created a mobile app called Kiddie Kredit to help kids everywhere learn about credit. Kiddie Kredit, founded in 2018, aims to leverage the completion of chores to teach kids – and their parents – lessons that are applicable to credit usage as an adult, and in the process make a big social impact combating financial illiteracy. The app launched last year.
Now Kiddie Kredit has partnered with Equifax Foundation, is in talks with a major teen banking company about another partnership, and just five days ago launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on MicroVentures that has already raised nearly $25,000. Investments of $100 or more are accepted on the platform.
The app is making tracks too, having been downloaded more than 4,000 times. More than 32,000 chores have been completed. “What we have seen with our usage is very engaged mothers and the word of mouth from them has been good,” said Leaphart.
Kiddie Kredit has big plans for future iterations of the app.
“What we want to build is a Credit Karma for kids type of recommendation engine. What we want to do is have a product recommendation engine for financial institutions that have product offerings for children – savings accounts, 529 accounts, etc,” said Leaphart. “We will geo-fence them as well to give the local banks the same opportunities as the big banks. That’s the plan.”
Leaphart and the team plan to offer a premium version of the app with additional features. In addition, Kiddie Kredit hopes to work with financial institutions to turn those Bamboo Bucks – what kids earn on the app for their chores – into a digital wallet that kids could potentially use to make purchases or send earnings to a bank account. The startup is exploring a few different options for this.
With the help of one of his advisors, Monique Idlett-Mosley of Reign Ventures, Leaphart connected with Equifax Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the giant credit bureau, Through their partnership, Kiddie Kredit aims to be a part of Equifax Foundation’s Build Credit movement, which the foundation modeled after Boston Builds Credit and replicated in St. Louis and Atlanta. Kiddie Kredit has also partnered with rapper Mickey Factz, well known for his viral freestyle rap about credit on New York City’s Hot 97 radio station, to help promote the app.
With the help of the crowd on MicroVentures, the company hopes to bring on team members full time, further develop the second iteration of its mobile app, deepen its partnership with Equifax, and fund pilots with financial institutions and organizations centered on financial literacy to youth. Find out more about the company and the crowdfunding campaign here.
Leaphart is also a co-founder of Black Men Talk Tech, which plans to return in October with a conference (possibly virtual) with Marlon Nichols, Kai Bond, Rodney Williams, Brian Brackeen and others slated as speakers.
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READ MORE about Kiddie Kredit in last year’s #MiamiTech Startup Spotlight