business

Candace Owens-Endorsed “Anti-Woke” Bank Dies A Hilarious Death

Right wing commentator Candace Owens was listed as a co-founder and endorse GloriFi, a fintech company that failed spectacularly after launching only in September.

Right wing commentator Candace Owens was listed as a co-founder and endorse GloriFi, a fintech company that failed spectacularly after launching only in September.
Photo: Michael Conroy (AP)

El Em Ay Oh.

Rarely would I take the occasion of a business’s failure to dunk on the entrepreneurs behind the idea. I started my career, after all, as a business reporter, spending days chronicling the success and failure of their ideas, which tend to be tied to the well-being of their families. Likewise, a number of my friends are entrepreneurs who will tell you on any given day how hard it is out here when you put your own cash, time and passion into trying to make a business work. I respect that hustle more than any other, but just not on tuh-day.

Today, I can’t think of a better reason for a hysterical laugh than the failure of a Candace Owens-backed startup called “GloriFi”, which was marketed like a “bank” but in the fine print actually said that was “a financial technology company, not a bank.” GloriFi promised checking and savings accounts and debit cards for conservatives, whose money, I suppose, spends differently than everybody else’s, because: ‘Murica. The company raised millions in startup capital from billionaire right-winger Peter Thiel and others before it went live in September.

The problem is that GloriFi was so concerned with pushing a culture-wars narrative that it forgot that banks in startup mode are supposed to be focused primarily on one thing: offering attractive rates on deposits to bring in new customer accounts and to be able to expand to more products like car loans and mortgages. Instead, GloriFi, was too focused on convincing potential customers that by doing business there, they’d be owning the libs. Rolling Stone reported on the company’s insane pre-launch marketing this way:

Pitching itself as a financial institution that allowed one to be “free to celebrate your love of God and country without fear of cancellation,” GloriFi’s marketing read more like a campaign ad than an enticing APR offer on a new credit card. Highlights from the “about us” page include: “OUR BILL OF RIGHTS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE” and “WE ARE ONE NATION UNDER GOD.”

In its short tenure, GloriFi managed to launch checking and savings accounts as well as credit cards, with plans to offer mortgages and insurance in a future that will no longer take place. Founder and CEO Toby Neugebauer pitched plans to offer gun owners discounts on home insurance, credit cards made of shell casing material, and assistance paying legal bills if customers shot someone in self-defense.

Not exactly a solid pitch for consumer financial services when inflation and interest rate hikes are in full effect. In the end, GloriFi’s pitch to customers was as ineffective and overblown as the campaigns Republicans expected to lead them to a red wave in the midterms. In politics, the right bet that voters would ignore its lack of a plan to tackle inflation or crimethe fact that it wants to ban abortion, undo affirmative action and kill student loan forgiveness in favor or rehashed arguments about the 2020 election. In the banking business, right wing investors thought consumers would ignore a fundamentally flawed business plan and some Horrific tales about GloriFi’s management team as long as the company whispered sweet nothings about God and guns and fReEdUmB!

People saw right thereough and rejected both grievances.

GloryFi’s public web site is now just one page, filled with the salty tears of grievance and instructions for how its few customers can retrieve whatever funds they had in their accounts.

Maybe they can take those deposits and buy more guns as Christmas gifts.

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