Cushion, the app that helps consumers in the US negotiate their bank and credit card fees, announced today that it raised $2.8 million in a Seed Round from existing investor, pre-seed fund Afore Capital, and new investors 9Yards Capital, Flourish, Green Cow Venture Capital, and Vestigo Ventures. Cushion uses an artificial intelligence (AI) bot to connect with banks on behalf of users to analyze their transaction histories, identify fees and interest charges, and negotiate their reduction or removal.
“Americans spend over $200 billion every year on bank fees and credit card interest. These penalties chip away at people’s hard-earned money and can do serious damage to their finances,” says Paul Kesserwani, CEO and founder of Cushion. “A consistent problem in negotiating most of these fees is the time and effort involved. It is awkward and sometimes confrontational pleading with customer service representatives via phone, chat, or email to give your money back—that’s where Cushion comes in.”
“In a time when 70 percent of Americansare struggling with some aspect of their financial lives, Cushion’s value proposition is more relevant than ever. It helps consumers address a real pain point now, while also creating awareness around the significance of these seemly small charges—a key learning for the future,” said Emmalyn Shaw, managing partner at Flourish, a venture of The Omidyar Group, and one of the new investors in Cushion. “The business model is also clever: because the app is recovering money that consumers never expected to get back, it makes for an easy decision to pay Cushion 25 percent of their refunded amount.”
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