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Throwback Thursday: Another Brick in the Wall of Failed Fintechs: Wingocard Edition

Derek Watson
Derek Watson
Throwback Thursday

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Throwback Thursday: Another Brick in the Wall of Failed Fintechs: Wingocard Edition

It’s Throwback Thursday, and today we’re taking a look at Wingocard, the personal finance platform for teens. The company made a big splash when it launched in May 2021 with 75,000 teens on its waiting list and almost $2 million in seed funding. Despite its initial success, Wingocard was forced to shut down just one year later due to a lack of investment. In this article, we’ll dive into the founders’ story, the problem Wingocard aimed to solve, and the timeline of events that ultimately led to its downfall.
Throwback thursday

Sebastien Brault

co-founder and CEO

Experienced tech startup veteran with 20 years of experience in the industry. Successful entrepreneur with 5 exits in social web businesses and expertise in various aspects of running a startup. Also an accomplished angel investor with investments in companies such as PasswordBox, Frank & Oak, and Unito. Passionate about bringing together talented teams to create value for users and customers.

Ignacio Tzoumas

Co-Founder and Growth Product Lead

Serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience in tech industry driving growth through product-led strategies in SaaS, mobile apps, and emerging markets. Skilled in product planning, development, data analytics, and team leadership. Specializes in growth product management and has a proven track record in driving results through data-driven experiments.

Kamyar Kaviani

Co-Founder and CTO

A senior software engineering manager with over 20 years of experience in the tech industry. Currently working at GitHub as a permanent full-time employee and founder of Luna IT Consulting. Previously co-founded Wingocard and worked at InVision as an engineering manager. Experienced in developing scalable platforms and APIs, implementing algorithms and data access patterns, and working with various programming languages. Specialized in REST API design and development.


Wingocard was founded by a talented trio: Sebastien Brault, Mehdi Mehni, and Salvatore D’Agostino. Salvatore, the CTO, brought his expertise from working as a software engineer at Airbnb to the table. He noticed a glaring issue among young people: a serious lack of financial literacy. Salvatore believed the current financial education system was broken and wanted to use technology to help bridge that gap.

What problem did Wingocard set out to solve:

Financial illiteracy was the problem Wingocard aimed to solve. The platform provided teens with the tools and resources they needed to better understand personal finance and make informed decisions about their money. This included features such as budgeting tools, savings goals, and educational resources.

Timeline of events:

Wingocard launches in May 2021 Quickly gains 75,000 teens on its waiting list
Secures $1.7 million in seed funding from investors
Company continues to develop products and expand its reach
Faces issues securing necessary funding to continue operations

Forced to shut down in May 2022


With a seed funding round of $1.7 million led by prominent venture capital firms and supported by individual investors, Wingocard was poised for success and had plans to use the funding for product development and market expansion.

Panache Ventures is a venture capital firm specializing in pre-seed and seed stage startup investments.
Diagram Ventures  is a venture builder that conceives and launches technology companies in the financial services, insurance, and health industries.

What worked and what didn't:

What Worked:
Improved cash access compared to other teen debit cards, with a large network of ATMs and the ability to make international withdrawals.
Option to go completely cash-free, with the virtual card compatible with Apple Pay and more merchants accepting virtual debit cards.
Cheaper option than most other teen debit cards, with the potential to avoid fees entirely.

Good customer service availability, with representatives responding to inquiries via chat and email over the weekend.

What Didn’t Work:

Lack of savings features, making it exclusively a spend card.
No Android version of the app available, with the company assuring customers that an app is in the works but with no further informat
Enforced low account and loading limits, with restrictions on total transfer limits between the primary account and sub accounts and funding restrictions.
Cash reloads are not permitted.
Consumer Sentiment: People seemed to be feeling pretty good about Wingocard at the time. However, a surprising amount of reviews for this product were left before the card was actually launched. Wingocard teased the card several months before actually releasing it, and this frustrated a lot of app users who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of a card that would make the app more useful.

Conclusion and takeaway for Startup founders:

The story of Wingocard serves as a valuable lesson for startup founders about the importance of having a solid monetization plan. While securing investment is certainly an important aspect of startup success, having a clear and viable plan for making money is crucial. Founders should prioritize developing a product or service that is not only innovative, but also profitable. A well-executed monetization strategy will attract investors and position the company for long-term success.

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