There is a small business owner in one of every 3 US households. They have more complicated finances, spend far more money on financial services, and are often less satisfied. It’s a market ripe for newcomers, but until 10 years ago, there were no pure-play small-business financial challengers. But that has changed dramatically, especially since 2016. 

One of the major players is Rho, which is competing both on the banking side and with its newer corporate charge card. The company is targeting the medium side of the SMB market, especially other VC-backed startups with $1M to $30M in revenues (Source: Tearsheet podcast with Everett Cook, 6 Jan 2020).

These mid-market companies have substantial banking costs but aren't big enough yet to get much attention at traditional large banks. For example, Fabric is an e-commerce company touted on the Rho site which was spending $5k per month on ACH, wire and account fees. Those costs dropped to zero at RHO, saving the company $60,000 per year.

There are thousands of business banking options for small businesses. But what makes Rho standout are its:

  1. Focus on larger startups and mid-sized businesses
  2. Dedicated account manager for each client
  3. Embedded commercial-grade accounts payable (i.e., can replace Bill.com)
  4. Unlimited card accounts (virtual and plastic)
  5. $75M in deposit insurance
  6. Fee-free (including wires and ACH)

Watch the 3-min review below from Kruze Consulting, an established accounting resource for startups. While the video is a bit dated (Dec 2020), its central points are still valid.

Something you didn't know about RHO Vice President Jason Grohowski appeared on SharkTank in 2019, pitching his office products company Deskview.

Product Features

Corporate charge card

  • Up to 1.75% cashback depending on repayment grace period chosen (can alter terms 4x annually)
    – 1.75% with no grace period
    – 1.5% with 30-day grace period
    – 0.75% with 45-day grace period
    – 0% with 60-day grace period
  • Fixed credit line (does not vary with bank balance ala Brex)
  • No card fees (including no late, overlimit or foreign transaction fees)
  • No personal guarantee or collateral required
  • Unlimited virtual or physical cards
  • Spending controls for each card
  • Card lock/unlock
  • Auto-synced accounting
  • Digital receipt uploads
  • Category mapping
  • No monthly fees, though a minimum spend of $5,000 monthly is expected

 

 

Commercial Banking

Commercial banking (checking & treasury)

    • Dedicated account manager
    • Free wires domestically and to 161 SWIFT countries
    • Free ACH
    • Free checks
    • 0.5% FX fee across 67 currencies (o.75% for Asia-Pacific currencies)
    • Up to 10 checking accounts per entity (EIN number)
    • Treasury account option with $75M insurance
    • No monthly fees
    • Minimum deposit of $50k for U.S. companies, $100k for internationals
    • APY of 0.01%
    • Remote deposits of up to $250k allowed (higher limits possible)
    • Flexible access controls across various employees and outside accountants
    • Capital markets access via third-party referrals

Accounts payable (billpay)

  • Invoices sent to dedicated RHO inbox and auto-populated into the AP dashboard
  • Payments due are automatically coded to match the clients accounting system
  • Rho automatically assigns approvers for every invoice
  • Records are automatically synced in real-time to QuickBooks
  • Fee-free payment via ACH, wire or check

 


Company Vitals

Rho
FAB Score = 63
Rank: #3 on our list of Top 12 Digital Banks for SMBs

HQ: NYC (SOHO)
Founded: 2018
Raised $120M: $20M equity ($15M in 2021), $100M debt (all in 2021) (Crunchbase)
Employees: 60 (Pitchbook)

Social:
Twitter: 760 followers
Linkedin: 1,900 followers
– Trustpilot: No reviews

Fintech stack:
– Banking services from Evolve Bank & Trust (dba Synapse)

Traction:
– Website visits (Oct 2021): 53,000 (SimilarWeb); 12,300 (SEMrush)
– Unique visitors: 7,400 (SEMRush)
– Articles (past 2 years): 20 (Crunchbase)

Founders:
Everett Cook, CEO
Alex Wheldon, Products (CPO)
Damian Kimmelman, Advisor

Quality articles:
TechCrunch, 13 Jan 2021
Bank Automation News (fka Bank Innovations), 13 Jan 2021 (paywall)
Tearsheet (podcast), 6 Jan 2020


Screenshots

1. AP aging report

2. Card spend details

 

3. Card terms management

 

4. Budget management