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Nerve may strike a chord with first neobank for musicians

Platform will offer social data, networking functions and instant payments for artists

Austin, Texas based fintech Nerve announced Thursday the launch of its neobank aimed specifically at a new cohort: musicians.

The platform offers FDIC-insured business debit cards and savings accounts, with the banking products themselves being offered through Piermont Bank. It also tracks and reports artists streaming counts and social media platform follower data so artists can keep close tabs on numbers.

A networking function in included that allows musicians to find each other through the app, make direct payments and socialize. Those payments can be made instant for free with anyone else that is hooked up to a Nerve account. Based on their demo video – the transfer sequence mirrors closely that of a Venmo, Cash App or PayPal service, however, with more of an artist focused lens.

Additionally, the app will be offered bilingually for both English and Spanish speakers.

“Banks of days past would offer services that their local geography needed,” said co-founder and CEO John Waupsh.

“Today, banking communities aren’t defined by rivers and railroads, but by the shared experience and goals of their customers,” says Waupsh. “Financial empowerment for musicians means giving them a banking platform that understands their unique needs with the tools to help them better manage their money.”

Waupsh founded Nerve alongside co-founder and CTO Ben Morrison in 2019, drawing upon their fifteen-plus years in consumer banking and fintech roles. Both Waupsh and Morrison have held positions – and still do – at fintech service provider Kasasa for over a decade.

Waupsh is also the founder and CEO of the Preservation Project, a boutique label dedicated to recovering and curating obscure funk and soul from the 60s, 70s and 80s. According to the release, it was here there that he first began to identify a need for a musician based neobank.

“Musicians and bands at all stages of their development need smart financial management, access to the real-time data that drives their business, not to mention two-minute digital account opening, and collaboration and business banking features to run their brands effectively,” Waupsh said.

The Nerve app is set to launch on Sept. 15 in the US and is currently hosting a waitlist that will require onboarding in the months to follow. While the tech is still fresh, Nerve said it plans to release additional features and updated services following the launch.

More so recently, niche neobanks have grown in popularity. While some neobanks battle to be an all encompassing source for everyone, others are popping up as tailored to specific audiences.

Welcome Tech, whose digital platform helps Spanish-speaking immigrants navigate life in the U.S. raised $35 million in April under a Series B round. Lili, a banking app for freelancers, just rolled out a subscription-based service in July designed to help self-employed people better handle the business side of their businesses.

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