Bump raises $3 million seed to help creators manage finances

James Jones’ father was an engineer. He was also a musician and a preacher, performing at churches along the East Coast.

Jones, an entertainment lawyer, noticed his father often worried about keeping track of the money he collected while performing at church and artists and influencers were often complaining about the same things.

“I also often had creators complain about the lack of ownership over their creative assets and how painful it was to get loans, mortgages, or generally create generational wealth opportunities for themselves and their families,” Jones told TechCrunch.

Jones said the pandemic brought forth a new set of challenges for creators: So many of them were at home trying to figure out how they would earn money and what to do next.

His solution was Bump, a platform that helps creators manage and grow their businesses. He launched it in 2020 with Anton Koyalov, who now serves as CTO. Bump on Tuesday announced a $3 million seed round, with investments from ImpactX, Capitalize and Serac Ventures.

Bump seeks to help creators manage their finances.

Bump allows creators to track income and market value, which can help them negotiate better deals and see how much money they are owed from partners. In 2022, Bump launched the Bump Creator Credit Card in partnership with Mastercard, which provides no monthly or hidden fees and can be acquired without a credit check. Bump also works with a banking institution and has direct deposit accounts that let creators earn interest on cash placed in its money market account.

Jones said fundraising for his company was brutal. He said Bump was up against numerous factors it simply couldn’t control, like a bear market and the lack of investor appetite for creator economy companies. “We took no after no from investors on the chin and lived to keep fighting,” he said. “We weren’t afraid to ask for investment, and we weren’t afraid of being ghosted, being judged or being told no.”

Bump closed its seed round in about six months, with other investors including Heirloom Ventures, H/L Ventures and Mana Venture. It has raised $3.5 million to date, with exiting investors including Snap Inc. and Sixty8 Capital.

“The creator economy is one of the most important trends in the future of work,” Oliver Libby, a managing partner at H/L Ventures, told TechCrunch. “There is virtually no financial infrastructure, no financial training, products, or help for this growing population — many of them underrepresented and underbanked.”

Bump will use the latest fundraise to help it expand and refine its infrastructure.

Creating a company like Bump has always been Jones’ passion, even though he didn’t always want to be a founder. “I always had a burning desire to solve the world’s problems,” he said. He liked talking to people, listening to what they were saying, and analyzing details that could help make them “healthier, wealthier, or happier,” he said.

“I can’t say that I always wanted to be a founder, but I do think my natural tendencies and characteristics have pushed me toward being a founder,” he said. “And despite the highs and lows, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

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