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Millions, an ‘Anonymous’ fintech, that gives cash away on social media raises $3 million seed

TechCrunch | Sarah Perez | Feb 2, 2021

millions stealth startup - Millions, an ‘Anonymous’ fintech, that gives cash away on social media raises $3 million seedAn “anonymously” led startup called Millions has raised a $3 million seed round for its fintech company that’s currently giving away free money through its Twitter account. The concept, inspired by the likes of YouTuber David Dobrik, is partly aimed at attracting attention for the new company but is also setting the stage for a forthcoming business model of sorts, where brands could participate in giveaways more directly.

The idea of brand and cash giveaways is not a new one, of course. Outside of social media personalities and traditional sweepstakes like Publishers Clearing House, the mobile game HQ Trivia more recently had tried to integrate brand giveaways in an attempt to draw players to its live trivia games. But HQ Trivia couldn’t maintain an audience after the novelty wore off and eventually shut down, after also dealing with internal strife and tragedy.

Millions has a different idea. Instead of weekly live games, users follow the Twitter account @millions, which either does a drop of some sort or gives away money to its followers every month. This month, for example, the account is launching its “million dollar sweepstakes.” Users follow @millions on Twitter, visit Millions.app, then enter six numbers. If all six match, they win $1 million.

“If you think about customer acquisition costs — and this is a little bit controversial — people just give money to Facebook or Instagram, or Apple or Google. The money goes straight to a social network and not the people,” explained a Millions co-founder, who asked to remain anonymous. “They’re trying to get the people, but they’re not giving the people the money. The Millions way is really giving the people the money. We don’t need to run advertisements. We’re giving the money directly to the people, and hopefully, they follow our ecosystem, subscribe for updates and they’ll see the future launch,” they said.

Ultimately, the larger plan for Millions is to transfer the customers it acquires through the games to the fintech play, which will also have something to do with winning money.

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Investors in the startup’s seed round included Giant Ventures, 8VC, Supernode, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Italic CEO Jeremy Cai, Allbirds co-founder and CEO Joey Zwillinger, Casper co-founders Neil Parikh and Luke Sherwin, MSCHF head of strategy and growth Daniel Greenberg, CEO of Deel Alex Bouaziz, CEO of Hellosaurus James Ruben, CEO of Beek Pamela Valdes, PM at Facebook (for the Payments Gateway team) Luis Vargas, co-founder of Block Renovations Koda Wang, CEO of Nebula Genomics Kamal Obbad, plus some Warby Parker and Harry’s co-founders and execs (Dave Gilboa, Neil Blumenthal, Jeff Raider) and other fintech angels.

A few investors also agreed to vouch for Millions on the record, and hinted at the MyCard product to come, which will reward customers for everyday behavior.

“This company is creating delight from what would otherwise be the mundane, everyday necessity of swiping a credit card. We invested in Millions because they will spark joy in people’s lives, and think the traditional points model of accumulating hard-to-use airline and hotel points is tired, and ripe for reinvention,” said Allbirds co-founder and CEO Joey Zwillinger.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Millions, an ‘Anonymous’ fintech, that gives cash away on social media raises $3 million seed The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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