Atom Bank, a digital "challenger bank" in the U.K., has agreed to a deal with the rapper and producer Will.i.am to act as a consultant, with an option to acquire a multimillion-dollar stake in the startup.
The alliance is an example of how consumer-facing fintech ventures are trying to court millennials, a generation that grew up with the Internet and came of age during the financial crisis and the rise of the smartphone.
According to a published report, the deal gives Will.i.am an option to acquire up to 3.55 million shares in Atom Bank at a price of 1.15 pounds (about $1.43) per share during a three-year period. Atom in 2015 became the first app-only bank to be granted a U.K. banking license. BBVA’s investment arm also owns a 29.5% stake in Atom.
Will.i.am will advise the bank on branding and send out social media posts, according to the report. He's currently a judge on the British talent show "The Voice UK." In 2014, 3D Systems, a maker of 3-D printers, hired him as its chief creative officer.