Greenwood’s content studio seeks to stir up interest and add users ahead of launch

The news: Greenwood, a US neobank geared toward Black and Latino communities, and co-founded by rapper and entrepreneur Killer Mike, is making a financial education push ahead of its expected early 2022 launch.

The neobank’s initiative is hosted by Greenwood Studio, a content marketing shop that will support podcasts, video series, and a business directory.

Greenwood Studio has an inaugural lineup of five original works, including:

  • Teaming up with podcast Earn Your Leisure, co-hosted by educator ​​Troy Millings and financial advisor Rashad Bilal
  • Partnering with Tanya Sam and iHeartMedia on a new financial literacy podcast, Money Moves
  • A documentary on Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood District (Black Wall Street) and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
  • Partnering with Sahirenys Pierce on a personal-finance podcast, Ask Me Anything About Money
  • A digital directory for Black and Latino businesses called GreenBook.

More on this: Greenwood has launched the studio after opting in June to postpone the neobank’s public debut due to high demand—it currently counts over 500,000 sign-ups on its waitlist.

Greenwood’s targeted communities make up larger proportions of unbanked and underbanked people than their population shares. Black and Latino Americans face disproportionate financial obstacles, per data cited by Fast Company, including Black loan-applicants facing an 80% higher rejection rate than their white counterparts.

Greenwood’s celebrity-backed marketing strategy follows similar initiatives from other US banking players.

  • In February, neobank Varo announced a partnership with NBA star Russell Westbrook—who also led its $63 million investment round—which involves creating an impact platform to assist underserved communities.
  • In 2019, NBA star LeBron James partnered with Chase on a podcast aimed at destigmatizing talking about finances.

The opportunity: Greenwood Studio helps the neobank build up anticipation and brand familiarity during the lead-up to its launch, keeping those who have signed up engaged while they wait and bolstering its customer-acquisition drive.

Operating a content-marketing arm also helps Greenwood to differentiate itself from other niche neobanks that are seeking to build Black and Latino customer bases.

  • A Greenwood competitor, First Boulevard—which brought in a $5 million seed round in March—offers products ranging from a Black business marketplace to no-fee debit cards.
  • Fortú caters to Latinos and emerged from stealth mode in May, offering a savings account and a remittances deal with fintech Wise.