How we grew 8x in 2017

By James Garvey
Published on: 01/04/2018

Self: how we grew 8x in 2017


By James Garvey, CEO of Self Financial

Read 2016 write-up here.

For the last 2 years, I've written a weekly newsletter that I share with our employees and shareholders at self. I also include a photo, an exceptional individual achievement, or just something funny. I got into this habit at Techstars, and have kept at it.

2017 was a crazy year for self:

  • 8x growth — from 7,000 accounts to 65,000 credit builder accounts. That's 65K people who've used self to build credit and save $53 million
  • expanded from 5 to 17 employees in the last half of 2017
  • $5mm series A raised from Silverton Partners, Deepspace Ventures, Accion Venture Lab and a handful of angel investors
  • launched in all 50 states, added a second bank partner and launched our $25/month savings plan that builds credit

Here's what what happened:

January 2017

January 2017 @ self

We started 2017 strong. One of my highlights for the year was attending the Fintech Ideas Festival.

February 2017

February 2017 @ self

It took just six months for us to grow from 1,000 to 10,000 credit builder accounts.

March 2017

March 2017 @ self

We refreshed our logo!

April 2017

April 2017 @ self

Kelvin Pho joined as our VP engineering and Brian Vitone joined as our VP operations. Kelvin and Brian are two of the most amazing and influential people @ self.

May 2017

May 2017 @ self

We reached 18,000 members in May.

June 2017

June 2017 @ self

Karthic (center of bottom-right photo), one of our A+ engineers, dominated our 2017 codebase. Also, thanks to Nerdwallet for the sweet poster.

July 2017

July 2017 @ self

We raised $5mm series A financing from Silverton Partners, Deepspace Ventures, Accion Venture Lab and a handful of amazing angel investors.

August 2017

August 2017 @ self

Every startup needs a wall with a giant logo.

September 2017

September 2017 @ self

True story: building credit is finally easy with self. See details here.

October 2017

October 2017 @ self

As you can see, we've used with new financing to recruit some amazing people.

November 2017

November 2017 @ self

We launched in all 50 states. We added a second bank partner, City National Bank of New Jersey. We also launched a $25/month credit builder account. Details here.

December 2017

December 2017 @ self

Now 65,000 people have used self to build credit and save money. To our members — thank you for amazing year and we are rooting for you!


We're so lucky to have the support from our members, our shareholders and our rockstar team.

If you’re interested in helping people build credit and save money, then work with us! Visit our self careers or email us @ careers at

About the Author

James Garvey is the CEO and co-founder of Self Financial, a venture-backed startup that helps people build credit and save money.

self logo
Written on January 4, 2018
Self is a venture-backed startup that helps people build credit and savings.

Disclaimer: Self does not provide financial advice. The content on this page provides general consumer information and is not intended for legal, financial, or regulatory guidance. The content presented does not reflect the view of the Issuing Banks. Although this information may include references to third-party resources or content, Self does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. The Credit Builder Account, secured Self Visa® Credit Card, and Level Credit/Rent Track links are advertisements for Self products. Please consider the date of publishing for Self’s original content and any affiliated content to best understand their contexts.

Take control of your credit today.

White company logo

Build credit. Build dreams.

Get started