Challenger bank and personal finance app Dave has hired former lead Apple Card executive Jarad Fisher as the company's first chief commercial officer, as the company looks to expand its product suite and partnerships.
Fisher spent nearly five years developing and launching the Apple Card, which included creating the go-to-market strategy and managing the business through its first full year.
When considering the role, Fisher said he was intrigued by the opportunity to transition from working at a tech giant to a startup that considers itself the "David" to traditional banking's "Goliath."
"After a successful run at Apple, it really was inspiring to sort of think about what to do next. My choices were to continue running the business, which could be a very exciting thing to do — obviously, Apple is a unique place," Fisher said. "But I also was really inspired by not only helping people but the challenge of trying to create a disruptive product in a crowded market."
Fisher will be responsible for all of Dave's core business operations and performance, including Dave Banking, a mobile bank the company rolled out to a waitlist of 2 million people last summer.
Dave CEO Jason Wilk told CNBC last summer he expected Dave Banking to reach 1 million users by the end of 2020. The company says it has 8 million customers that use its personal finance tools.
The launch of the startup's digital bank comes amid significant growth in the fintech and challenger bank space.
As of December, there were 256 neobanks worldwide, according to data compiled by Exton Consulting, and many have reported steady account growth over the past 12 months.
"Not only are you facing headwinds from traditional players, there is no shortage of entrants in the neobank or challenger bank category, but I think there's a few things that help make Dave stand out," Fisher said.
The Los Angeles-based company started off as a personal finance tool to help customers budget and avoid overdraft fees. Dave also has a job-search feature called Side Hustle, a product it says has helped users earn more than $150 million.
"We sort of started with one specific product, the overdraft protection, and are moving more toward a set of services that will help grow with our customers over time," Fisher said. "As opposed to building just a standard set of services, we decided to put the customer first and build around them. Hopefully that's how Dave will demonstrate that [it] is truly differentiated and will break away from the pack."
Dave is broadening its commercial team. The company tapped former Coca-Cola and Airbnb marketing executive Jonathan Mildenhall for its newly created role of chief marketing officer in October, and brought on former Hulu executive Shannon Sullivan as the company's chief people officer.
"I have a history of working with big, splashy brands," Mildenhall told The Wall Street Journal. "I want Dave to be the biggest, splashiest, most aspirational and accessible fintech brand in the U.S."
Fisher called the development of Dave's commercial team an inflection point for the company.
"Putting all of those key functions on one team together, I've already seen in the four weeks that I've been here, we're able to more quickly get things to market," he said. "Hopefully we'll be able to use that power of having everybody sitting around the table to come up with some really distinctive and disruptive ideas that you wouldn't expect from a bank, and you wouldn't even expect from a neobank."