Early Stage

Neobank with real-time budgeting, a fun social platform, and cash back rewards


Raised to Date: Raised: $450,707

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Cedar Hills, Utah


Financial & Insurance Products & Services

Tech Sector


Distribution Model




Capital Intensity


Business Type

High Growth

Jelli, with a valuation of $8 million, is raising funds on Republic. The company has developed an integrated banking app that offers real-time budgeting, updates, notifications, and cashback rewards. The app manages budgeting by segmenting users’ money and assigning their purchases, connects people by allowing them to share their JelliJARS with others, and helps them get JelliCASH rewards. Jelli has a social media reach of over 500,000 influencers and partnerships and targets to reach over 5 million users over the next five years. The current crowdfunding campaign has a minimum target of $25,000 and a maximum target of $1,070,000. The campaign proceeds will be used for growth and expansion.

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Financials as of: 08/18/2021
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Mobile banking, particularly via mobile app, has become increasingly popular in the modern era. Although there are many different services, these apps often include similar functions, such as managing accounts and paying bills. As technology and consumer preferences change, many services are looking for creative ways to enhance the mobile banking experience. Features such as budgeting tools, educational content, and social connectivity have been largely lacking in app-based banking.

Jelli aims to transform and update mobile banking. The company’s banking platform is focused on making budgeting easier and more integrated. Users can set up JelliJARS to save funds for specific goals and as spending categories. Once a monthly budget has been created, funds transferred into Jelli are automatically split between the user’s JARS. Additionally, JelliJARS can be shared with friends and other accounts on Jelli, enabling group contributions. 

Jelli also has a cashback service called JelliCASH. Through its partnership with DOSH, the company provides merchant-funded rewards on qualifying purchases made with the company’s JelliCARD. Currently, the business is developing JelliCRYPTO, through which users can instantly convert their cryptocurrency into cash when making purchases. In addition, Jelli offers other features, such as a check-writing service, parent-controlled accounts for children, and more.

Jelli’s current Republic raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.


Jelli is raising at an $8 million valuation with no discount. The company has only generated around $16,000 in revenue. As a result, its valuation is not strongly justified by current performance. However, an $8 million valuation is very reasonable for and in line with other early stage startups currently raising capital online. Thus, Jelli’s valuation is appropriate for this round of funding.


The global card payments market was estimated by one source to be worth $51.6 billion in 2020. With an annualized growth rate of 13.2%, it should climb to $123.1 billion by 2027. A different source estimated the market to be even larger — $138.4 billion in 2020 and growing by 8.5% each year. 

There are other ways to look at Jelli’s market, though, as the platform offers a range of services. The broader cards and payments market was worth $721.9 billion in 2019. It is growing by 8.5% each year and should increase to $999.3 billion by the end of the 2023 fiscal year. The banking-as-a-service market should climb from $356.3 billion in 2020 to $2.3 trillion by 2028, implying an annualized growth rate of 26.3%. Each of these markets, especially when considering that Jelli could have a global reach, is quite large. And even the more conservative growth rates are still impressive. With these massive markets, however, come large incumbents and a sea of competitors. Regardless, given the massive size of the market and its attractive growth rate, Jelli has a very attractive market opportunity in front of it.


Prior to starting Jelli, co-founder and CEO David Smith was the head of financial operations at a mobile banking company called MovoCash. While there, he focused on forecasting and projections, developing financial dashboards for the business, and leading analysis and negotiations with its payment processor. Prior to that, he was the chief marketing officer at Cascade Financial Technology, a program management company for debit cards and prepaid credit cards. He has also previously worked as head of brand development, marketing, and ecommerce for Kaiku Finance and the senior marketing manager of Green Dot Corporation. Smith also served in multiple roles at Procter and Gamble, including brand manager and brand finance manager. In sum, he brings managerial, finance, and marketing expertise to the table.

Jelli co-founder and CTO Ben Harper has served as a senior data engineer and app developer for Cardplatforms and a senior developer and data engineer at Kaiku Finance. He also founded and served as the technology lead of Secure.CC, which focused on front-end and back-end development as well as website creation. Before that, he was a multimedia engineer at Knowledge Adventure. Harper brings technical experience applied specifically to financial services, making him an excellent fit as Jelli’s CTO.

Tom Curitore is Jelli’s final co-founder and chief creative officer. Prior to helping found the company, he was a designer and art director at Curitorium. He also previously worked as the creative director at Kaiku Finance. Prior to that, he was the design manager of retail and new media for Maidenform. He also served as a designer for four different businesses as well as a design intern for MTV Networks. Curitore brings a strong background in design and creative services.

Collectively, these three founders have very complementary skills while sharing backgrounds in finance. Each has significant relevant experience for their current roles with Jelli. At this time, however, it appears that they are the only three team members. Should they hope to scale the product, the founding team will need to do a significant amount of hiring, especially in expertise gaps like legal, sales, and engineering.


These days, it is difficult to truly differentiate in the financial technology space. However, Jelli is giving it a shot. In many of its core operations, the company is essentially the same as competition like Varo, Dave, and Chime

Unlike its competitors, Jelli’s budgeting tools encourage a proactive, instead of retroactive, approach to the budgeting process. The company is also different in the sense that it has a social platform. Some other companies share these features, but what is special about Jelli is the fact that these items are all placed together on one platform. The comprehensive nature of the app could be a make or break situation as it is difficult to perfect a range of services while competing with large incumbents. Additionally, Jelli does not appear to be protecting any of its technology with patents at this time. 

Overall, Jelli faces major incumbents in the banking services industry. While it has successfully developed features that its competitors don’t offer, there’s little defensibility in those features. If a major competitor chose to replicate the social and proactive budgeting features that Jelli offers, the startup would likely suffer.


From a product perspective, Jelli has achieved attractive traction. It has built out its platform and has succeeded already in nabbing 7,200 signups. These users have completed more than $4.5 million in purchases on the company’s platform and loaded $9 million onto the service. The company also has significant partners such as DOSH, Visa, and Twilio backing it. Its service providers have also offered incentives for users totaling around $60 million over the next five years. 

On the financial side, however, the business still lacks. It did not generate any revenue in 2019. Revenue did increase, however, to $16,391 in 2020. Management has not provided any detailed figures for the current fiscal year, but it has said the company succeeded in achieving total revenue so far of $125,000. If this is true, then the financial picture is looking up. 

Jelli’s strong user traction and growing revenue bodes well for future performance. However, it is not clear that the company has fully established its product-market fit or that it’s revenue generation methods — primarily fee-based on card transactions — are enough to sustain and grow it.


On the risk side, Jelli is in the rare position of having a low risk profile. Only a few subcategories were slightly elevated. Naturally, as with any financial product, regulatory risk does exist. Additionally, the company is raising via SAFE, which does contribute to investment terms risk, though very little. In all, product risk is low as the platform has been launched and user tested.

Bearish Outlook

Jelli does an admirable job of attempting to stand out in the crowded banking services market — but it doesn’t quite seem to succeed just yet. Most of its features can be found in competitors, making consumers less likely to choose Jelli over other, more familiar services. Given the lack of defensibility for its few unique features, Jelli could also see its competitors simply recreate the things that set it apart. Furthermore, it is not clear that Jelli has successfully monetized its platform. While the company boasts thousands of sign-ups, it’s financial performance does not seem to be growing at a substantial rate. 

Bullish Outlook

Jelli’s target market of banking services is large and growing rapidly. The company should have plenty of room to grow and expand as a result. The team managing the business appears highly qualified. All three founders have direct experience relating to finance as well as their respective roles at the company. The company’s performance on the product side is appealing. Jelli’s platform is live and has thousands of users, minimizing product risk. Additionally, a significant amount of money is already circulating within the system, which is especially important social proof as one of the company’s features relies on crowd adoption and social engagement. Jelli’s partnerships add further value to its strategy. 

Executive Summary

Jelli has developed an integrated banking app that offers real-time budgeting, updates, notifications, and cashback rewards. The app manages budgeting by segmenting users’ money and assigning their purchases, connects people by allowing them to share their JelliJARS with others, and rewards users with JelliCASH. Jelli has a social media reach of more than 500,000 influencers and partnerships and aims to reach more than 5 million users over the next five years.

The financial services app market is saturated. Plenty of competition exists in the form of private banking apps, budgeting tools, and other financial planning services. One of Jelli’s ongoing challenges will be further differentiating itself from competition. The community aspect of the platform also relies heavily on mass user adoption powered by social proof. Revenue numbers for the company are weak at this time, though this is natural for a company at this stage.

Jelli is led, however, by a very impressive team. Each co-founder has plenty of experience in the fintech space and direct experience relating to their individual roles at the company. The team has already attracted thousands of users and has secured some notable partnerships. Plans to move into cryptocurrency appear to be a differentiation strategy, but only time will tell how that plays out. These positives paired with the saturated market and weaker financials led to a rating of a Neutral Deal at this time.

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd staff pick or ratings for this company, please reach out to

Analysis written by Daniel Jones.

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Jelli on Republic 2021
Platform: Republic
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $8,000,000

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