May 10, 2011
Personal wealth is on the mind of pretty much everyone, in one way or another. HelloWallet, a Washington, D.C. based startup, has made it a mission to help boost their users personal wealth. To do so, HelloWallet has been distributing its online financial tools to employees of Fortune 500 companies and large 401K providers to distribute services as a workplace benefit. And it’s been working – over an average of three months, they’ve achieved higher than normal take-up rates, found an average of $400 in savings and increased net wealth by just over $2000 for users, which for many people is like getting a three percent raise.
This week at Finovate in San Francisco, HelloWallet is launching direct to consumers, offering the same services it has been distributing to large organizations. The platform offers a number of tools for tracking and managing wealth, building budgets, setting goals and more. We’ve seen the success of similar services in the past (eg, Mint), but HelloWallet takes it further.
Working to “democratize access to high-quality financial guidance”, HelloWallet takes a unique approach by aiming to improve people’s financial decision-making abilities by building a type of artificial intelligence that acts as a financial brain for members. This is all being developed by a diverse team of talents which include neuroscientists, behavior scientists, psychologists and engineers. They are studying how the brain makes financial decisions so they can implement their findings into their algorithms and ultimately help people save more. Considering that 70% of workers report they are living paycheck to paycheck, they’ve got their work cut out for them.
Not only is HelloWallet looking to help consumers, the company is also a “double bottom-line” company (ie, they have a second bottom line to measure performance in terms of positive social impact) as they provide one free account to a needy family for every five paying subscribers.
Our country was brought to the brink of economic collapse a few years ago because over 80 percent of households in America lacked access to financial advice. We aim to be part of the solution to make sure this never happens again. – Founder, Matt Fellowes
HelloWallet has been on the scene for a few years now, raising $3.6 million in Series A funding in 2010 from Grotech Ventures, Revolution’s Steve Case and Jean Case, and building up its base of partners and end-users. The company was even praised by former President Clinton as an example of an organization that is “harnessing innovation” for global development.
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