New York de novo debuts after raising $131 million

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Grasshopper Bancorp in New York has opened after raising more than $131 million in initial capital.

The parent of Grasshopper Bank raised about $116.2 million in a private placement to investors that included an affiliate of Patriot Financial Partners, funds managed and advised by FJ Capital Management and Hamilton Lane Advisors on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement Fund and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates and Endeavour Capital Advisors.

Organizers had already raised $15 million during an earlier seed round offering.

Grasshopper becomes the first bank chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the Northeast since the financial crisis.

"With the approval of our national charter, Grasshopper is poised to deliver banking services custom-designed for today's entrepreneurial companies and their venture capital backers," Judith Erwin, Grasshopper's CEO, said in a press release.

Grasshopper will serve New York's innovation economy and venture capital firms. It will also target companies and communities in other major innovation economy centers across the country.

"Traditional banks, limited by antiquated and burdensome legacy systems, are less equipped to meet the needs of early stage companies," Erwin said.

Erwin was founding executive vice president of venture capital services at Square 1 Bank, from its 2005 launch to its sale to Pacific Western Bancorp in 2015.

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