President, CEO, and Director
Grasshopper Bank’s competitive edge with Autobooks goes beyond its seamless integration into their digital banking channels — it’s also about offering a viable alternative to the many fintech solutions in the market today.
- $300 Million
- New York, New York
- Mike Butler, President & CEO
Grasshopper began operations in 2019 and is a client-first digital bank serving small businesses, startups, and investors supporting them across the innovation economy. Our digital solutions cover small business, venture-backed companies, fintech-focused Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) and commercial API banking platforms, SBA lending, commercial real estate lending, and yacht financing. Privately owned and headquartered in New York City, the bank is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation member and held just under $300 million in total assets (as of December 2021). Grasshopper Bank was named after the famed computer scientist and US Navy rear admiral Grace Hopper and our tagline “Only Forward” pays homage to the grasshopper, who can only jump forward.
- Launched April 2022
- Digital Banking Partners: FIS Digital One for Business & Narmi
- Autobooks Embedded Client
Mike Butler is currently President, CEO, and Director at Grasshopper Bank. Prior to joining the bank in mid-2021, Butler served as CEO at Radius Bank for 13 years, and was instrumental in its sale to LendingClub in 2020. Butler is an industry veteran who has an enthusiasm for innovative business models, solutions-driven technology, and a client-first mentality. Under his leadership, Radius Bank became an early adopter of the digital-first, virtual banking model — a strategy now being embraced by many incumbent banks today.
Grasshopper is a relative upstart, having launched in 2019 as a direct bank for a very specific niche: startup technology companies — especially those based in New York City’s tech sector. In mid-2021, the board brought on Mike Butler, the former Radius Bank CEO who orchestrated that bank’s storied sale to LendingClub in 2020.
Butler, who is well recognized for embracing innovative business models and new technology, quickly pivoted his new institution to a market segment he felt strongly about: small business.
“We believe that the small business market is ready for disruption, frankly, from both a fintech perspective and a technology perspective,” explained Butler. “There's been an evolution even inside the way small businesses operate — focused on technology. And surely, they’ll want great technology in their financial institution partners.”
“We believe that the small business market is ready for disruption, frankly, from both a fintech perspective and a technology perspective.”
After quickly shifting to a model that has embraced fintech technology partners — part of a transformation Butler has playfully dubbed “Grasshopper 2.0.” — the bank set its sights on aggressively expanding into the small business space. With this mindset, the Grasshopper leadership team looked for a partner they could grow with, and they quickly landed on Autobooks.
“Small businesses have it hard — there's no CMO, there's no CFO. How do you help a small business day in and day out, with their many challenges?” Answering his challenge, Butler elaborated, “Here’s how. We're going to lead with a digital deposit product that will allow small businesses to open up a checking account with us seamlessly — without a branch network. And we’re partnering with Autobooks to help them take care of their day-to-day work, so they can do it in a really efficient, technology-based way.”
“Small businesses have it hard — there's no CMO, there's no CFO. How do you help a small business day in and day out, with their many challenges?”
To this end, the bank set out to retool its business checking account. The new interest-bearing account now features a Visa debit card with unlimited cashback rewards, no monthly fee, and unlimited ACH transfers and incoming wires.
Further differentiating this cornerstone product is its integrated features, powered by Autobooks: digital invoicing and payment acceptance, available inside Grasshopper’s FIS-supported digital banking channels, as well as the option to add-on the full Autobooks experience, including automated bookkeeping and reporting, cash flow management, and more.
The streamlined online account opening application, in addition to the Autobooks digital payment acceptance features, may be a contributing factor in the growth Grasshopper has realized: approved applications for their deposit account have increased significantly.
“It's been a great relationship with you guys,” said Butler. “But it starts with — I've said this all along — with a solid partnership model, period. We're not going to build our own technology. We believe that companies like Autobooks do it best. Autobooks checks the boxes.”
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