Building successful startup companies seems to come naturally for Jason Wilk, the co-founder and CEO of the banking app Dave.
On June 7, Wilk’s company announced that it will go public through a merger with SPAC VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III. The deal gives Dave a $4 billion valuation.
Dave is at least the fourth startup that Wilk has had success with. With that track record, Wilk’s net worth should be pretty high. However, there isn’t much information available on the exact figure.
Jason Wilk has founded four startups.
Wilk has been starting businesses since he was just 25 years old. His first startup was 1DaySports.com, a website that offered flash sales on golf products. He sold the site in 2008 for $100,000 to an undisclosed buyer.
Wilk’s next venture was AllScreen, an online marketplace that allows media outlets to syndicate their digital content through more than 500 publishers.
The AllScreen venture enabled Wilk to attract the interest of Shark Tank billionaire investor Mark Cuban, although it wasn’t easy. In a 2017 interview with CNBC, Wilk said that he sent numerous emails to Cuban until the investor sent him a check for $300,000.
Cuban must have been happy with the return on his investment because he has been an investor in all of Wilk’s business ventures since then.
In 2012, Wilks co-founded WriteyBoard, a company that sells simpler and cheaper whiteboards than what have been traditionally used. Cuban invested $150,000 in the company.
When Wilk cofounded Dave in 2017 as an alternative to traditional banks, Cuban opened his checkbook again. He was one of several investors who contributed a combined total of $3 million to get Dave off the ground.
What is Dave?
Named after the hero of the biblical story of David and Goliath, Dave was created to help Americans avoid billions of dollars in overdraft fees charged by traditional banks. The financial platform now has 10 million customers using its features for banking, financial insights, overdraft protection, building credit, and even finding side gigs.
Dave officials estimate that the app has helped customers avoid nearly $1 billion in overdraft fees through its flagship feature, ExtraCash, and earn over $200 million in income through its gig-economy job board, Side Hustle.
In December 2020, the company launched Dave Banking, a spending account and debit card with no monthly fees, which has already accumulated more than 1.3 million members.
Blank-check merger increases Dave's valuation
The recently announced SPAC merger has given Dave’s value a significant boost, which was at $1 billion in August 2019, according to PitchBook.
VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III is a blank-check company sponsored by global investment firm Victory Park Capital. VPC has been a longstanding investor in Dave. In January, it provided the company with a $100 million credit facility.
The deal includes a contribution of about $254 million from the VPCC trust account and a $210 million private placement (PIPE) led by Tiger Global Management with additional participation from Wellington Management and Corbin Capital Partners.
The company plans to use the proceeds from the public listing to assist in Dave’s accelerated growth into new products and continued rapid scale of its banking platform.
“Dave is upending the banking industry with our suite of breakthrough financial products and making a meaningful impact on our customers’ lives. This transaction and continued support from our longstanding investors signify confidence in our strategy, vision and the significant growth opportunities ahead,” Wilk said in a company statement.