Conservative fintech GloriFi said to announce closure
GloriFi, a company backed by major investors like Peter Thiel and conservative figures like Mike Pence, is going under two months after launching its app. The startup, which The Wall Street Journal previously reported had repeatedly exceeded deadlineslaid off dozens of employees after struggling to gain a foothold with products and funding in recent months.
The final straw was financial. Funding that the company thought would last through the first quarter fell through, according to the Journal, which cited an email to employees from GloriFi’s Chief Marketing and Communications Offer Cathy Landtroop. Landtroop did not respond to American Banker’s request for comment.
Founded last year by businessman Toby Neugebauer, the company had raised $50 million from the likes of Ken Griffin and former Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. In July, GloriFi announced that would hit Wall Street through a merger with DHC Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company. The deal, which was expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, valued the Texas startup at $1.7 billion and required the company to raise at least $60 million more.
GloriFi’s app launched on September 20 with checking and savings products, including debit cards with pro-police and constitution-related images. By mid-October, the company said it had signed up 33,000 new members and opened more than 5,000 new accounts within days of the app’s launch. The startup was supported by conservative ideologues such as Candace Owens, who claimed on her social media accounts that GloriFi would “beats Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and PayPal.”
“We did not create the movement. One hundred million Americans who want to be free to express their love for God and country did,” Neugebauer said in a prepared statement when the app was launched in September. “We created the marketplace where hard-working, freedom-loving people can enjoy big technology without having to sacrifice their values.”
In October, a Wall Street Journal article outlined GloriFi’s tumultuous start. It said the company had been close to bankruptcy over the summer. It also reported that GloriFi had blown through ambitious launch dates, hired more than 100 employees with plans to double its headcount, tried to acquire a bank and operated out of CEO Neugebauer’s 16,000-square-foot Dallas home. The Journal said employees had commented on Neugebauer’s drinking habits and mercurial personality.
A few days later, the Journal announced that Neugebauer had resigned as CEO but stayed on as executive chairman.