Northwestern Mutual’s latest investment is one that we could all possibly benefit from.

Zirtue — the world’s first and only relationship-based lending app — has received a huge investment from Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures.

Northwestern Mutual’s corporate venture capital fund investment combined with Zirtue’s seed round brings the fintech startup company’s total amount raised to $4 million. Other investment funds include Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, the Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute Capital Fund, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, plus more.

The funds will be used to not only grow the team but also add product offerings.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Zirtue

In an effort to further its commitment to accelerating financial technology startups, Northwestern Mutual is committed to working with startups like Zirtue, which are focused on historically underbanked and underfunded populations. They are also committed to investing in Black founded companies.

“Zirtue is leveraging technology to provide a unique offering and tapping into a market that is often underserved in the financial services industry,” said Craig Schedler, managing director, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures in an official press release. “Zirtue aligns with Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to providing financial inclusion and their recent growth demonstrates the unmet need for this type of lending platform. We look forward to partnering with Zirtue and continuing to advance and grow the company.”

The relationship-based lending app was created by CEO and co-founder, Dennis Cail in order to solve a problem that he experienced first-hand growing up.

Due to the fact that traditional banks aren’t found in certain neighborhoods, the communities become vulnerable to predatory payday lenders and check-cashing services.

Experiences like this led Cail to create a loan option for unbanked and underbanked individuals to provide them with necessary loans and empower them through the process.

“Friends and family are among the largest banks in the world, loaning $184 Billion annually to loved ones,” said Cail in an official statement. “Loaning money can damage relationships, and Zirtue is the modern-day solution by providing a seamless, structured way for people to be paid back while taking the awkwardness out of those conversations and transactions. By investing in the problem we are trying to solve, Northwestern Mutual is demonstrating their commitment to financial inclusion, and given their 160+-year old standing in the financial industry, we are honored to partner with them.”