Suma Wealth helps Latinos build credit through gaming, in-culture content – TechCrunch
Just when Beatriz Acevedo thought she was out, an opportunity to start Suma Wealth pulled her back in.
The California-based company, which exhibited as part of the Battlefield 200 at TechCrunch Disrupt, is designed for Latinos and offers in-culture financial content, products and experiences to help them gain control of their economic power and build wealth.
“The ‘secret sauce’ is in culture, not in language,” Acevedo told TechCrunch.
Suma Wealth is at the intersection of edtech and fintech and is innovating on the blockchain. Some of the features include Sumaversity, with classes and boot camps on finance. It is using the blockchain to certify everyone via proof of learning and attendance. Users collect non-transferable tokens (NTT) and get perks.
There is also a Music Money Plaza where users can understand the concept of credit and build it. The Credit Cocina, an activity food truck, helps users learn about their finances through their favorite recipes. There is also a financial gym where Acevedo said users can “sweat out their debt” by speaking with a debt expert. Users can pick an avatar, chat or turn on their camera and get coaching in “a non-threatening way.”
The app is free to download, and there are some freemium features with a subscription tier for the coaching.
Acevedo is not your typical early-stage entrepreneur. Now in her 50s, she started her career as a radio and television host and went on to start a company with her husband, Doug Greiff, called mitú, a digital media brand for young Latinos in the U.S. Between 2012 and 2020, the company raised $52 million in funding before Acevedo and Greiff sold the company to Latido Networks.
Her plan was to move fully into philanthropy and work on her family’s foundation, but Acevedo told TechCrunch that when the global pandemic hit, she saw that Latinos were not only the hardest hit in terms of COVID deaths, but also economic hardship.
It wasn’t that she wanted to found a company that could solve that problem, but after talking to financial institutions that consistently told her that they were challenged in their ability to connect with young Latinos, she decided to start Suma Wealth with Mary Hernandez and Javier Gutierrez.
“No matter how much money Latinos spend, they are always an afterthought,” Acevedo said. “Fintechs could tell me that they already translated their website, and that was the biggest red flag for me, because they didn’t need to do that, because their audience already speaks English.”
She went on to explain that when she told …….