Join Club

Local startup combines social media with banking to appeal to millennials and Gen Z

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

A local startup is providing younger generations with a new way to understand banking and finances.

Wellthi is a software tool that grants financial advice on a social media-like platform. It can be used through its independent app that is available to download, or within mobile apps of participating banks.

“Think of it as a Facebook or LinkedIn within a mobile banking app,” founder and CEO Fonta Gilliam said. “We are helping banks rethink their mobile banking experience.”

Fonta Gilliam and Nneka Ukpai of Wellthi (via Wellthi)

The company, initially named Invest Sou Sou, officially launched in 2021. Since then, it has formed partnerships with Mastercard, Discover Card, Galileo Financial Technologies and IDology. Citizens Bank recently became the first banking partner to launch with Wellthi, Gilliam said.

She aims to bridge the gap between the financial services banks provide and the places younger generations turn for finance tips: social media.

“We found that a lot of banks don’t know how to talk to millennials and Gen Z. 80% of us get our financial advice not from our branch managers or a financial advisor but from places like Reddit, TikTok and Facebook,” Gilliam said. “Wellthi gives users an experience that feels like say Reddit or TikTok but in a space where users can talk to certified financial advisors versus random influencers on social media.”

Wellthi received funding from Virginia Venture Partners (VVP), an equity investment program within the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation. The funds given to Wellthi from VVP were partially through the U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative for a confidential amount.

She hinted at a few other undisclosed partnerships with banks.

The VPP funding follows on a seed funding round in December worth $2.1 million, Washington Business Journal reported. Gilliam says she moved her startup from D.C. to Arlington to take advantage of the various types of support available for startups, as well as the county’s hub of tech companies.

“Arlington had incredible incentives. I was looking for a [place] that could provide venture capital for early-stage companies like mine,” Gilliam said. “I was excited about the growth happening right now in Northern Virginia from Amazon’s HQ2 to the welcoming business feel the area gives.”

She says she hopes that this proximity will turn into more interest from local consumers and small businesses in the near future.

Wellthi promo (via Wellthi/Instagram)

Recent Stories

Bronx Pizza is back in Clarendon under a new name: Big Tony’s Pizzeria & Dive Bar. Last May, the pizzeria closed its doors with little warning after doing business for…

It’s likely a hoax but a threatening phone call has prompted another large police response at Yorktown High School.

More than 5,000 Dominion customers were in the dark this morning due to a large power outage.

Arlington Public Schools is pausing an impending middle school boundary process, citing stable enrollment this fall. Earlier this year, APS was bracing for overcrowding at a few middle schools. It…

At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!

At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.

If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit to learn more.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.

Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.

The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.

Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

The Backyard: After-School Kids Club

Join us at Church of the Covenant on Military Road every other Wednesday afternoon from 4:00-5:30pm beginning on October 18th for The Backyard: After-School Kids Club. Cost is free! The program will provide recreation, snacks, Bible stories, and other fun

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central)

Live standup comedy starring John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central)
Friday, October 20

Headliner: John F. O’Donnell

John was a correspondent on the radical comedy news TV show, “Redacted Tonight,” for 5 years. Recently, he released his debut one-hour standup special,


Subscribe to our mailing list