SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA; June 11th, 2019 – Dianne Clapp has joined Oxygen as Chief Risk Officer. Clapp, who has over 25 years experience with companies like Bank of the West, Citibank, and GE Capital, will be joining Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hussein Ahmed and Chief Compliance Officer Jonathan Consalvo in Oxygen’s growing panel of executive managers.
Ahmed initially reached out to Clapp in early 2019. Ahmed says, “Given how crucial we know risk and compliance are in the fintech space, Dianne’s multi-product and emerging market background stood out.” At BotW she built a team and process controls for first line of defense risk, advocating line of business data ownership and upgrading systems to safeguard growth. During her time at both Citigroup and GE, leading LATAMEX Independent Consumer Risk, Dianne was a thought leader on ensuring product fit to market, designing growth tests, and building fundamental MIS. Her favourite projects included “Readiness to Grow”, a process that was created to assess and drive dialogue on how well lines of business growth plans were prepared to scale without unintended consequences. Her breadth and depth of experience makes her a particularly strong candidate for the role of Oxygen’s CRO. With her deep familiarity with both the traditional banking world and emerging markets, Dianne is uniquely positioned to lead Oxygen’s risk sector through the fast-paced growth trajectory expected of the startup, which is breaking new ground in an untapped space.
“Dianne immediately understood Oxygen’s needs as both a startup and a bank. Despite having worked at the world’s largest financial institutions, she was immediately able to put on the ‘startup hat,’ as we say.” Ahmed notes. Clapp feels similarly, commenting that “Oxygen is positioned in this economic environment within this amazing fast growing space. This type of company, focused on serving 1099 employees, has been needed and overlooked for a long time.”
YC-backed Oxygen was initially started in 2018 when Ahmed, who was at the time a consultant, tried to get a loan from Lending Club. Due to his status as a 1099 worker, Lending Club couldn’t verify his income, and asked for 10 pages of documentation to validate his employment. Oxygen now hails investors that include Digital Horizon Capital and Cynthia Chen, ZMT Capital (China), Locus Ventures, Endure Capital, PioneerFund, Magic Fund, Light Bridge, Strawberry Creek, Base Ventures, The House Fund, and Sam Yam.
Clapp also connected to Oxygen on a personal level. “My son is a concept artist in New York City – so I’ve seen first hand how difficult it is for this self employed demographic to launch careers and find financial stability. It is no longer a question of talent, effort, and education, as employment opportunities themselves are shifting. ” For that reason, Clapp says that Oxygen is an extremely promising venture. “This is a company that is actively changing the underlying foundations of the financial institution – we are working to make this a more inclusive, adaptive, and supportive field.” Clapp notes, “Our economy is undergoing a structural shift. As the gig economy continues to be the main source of income for a growing number of people, it’s crucial that banks be able to keep up with their needs and have the tools and infrastructure to serve this population.”
* * *
Oxygen is a digital bank that caters to gig economy workers–also known as the 1099 nation. This growing population of gig-workers makes more than $1.4 trillion in 1099 income annually, but has been locked out of the lending services because of their seemingly volatile income and a lack of permanent employment. Oxygen has developed unique AI models that track bills, project income and provide instant credit when needed. The fast-growing fintech startup offers free checking accounts, debit cards and fair credit lines to make banking easier in the age of gig economy.