If there’s one thing we got out of the recession, it’s an endless supply of personal finance tools. It’s nice to think that you’re not poor, you’re just not doing it right. One of the personal finance platforms that rocketed to the top was LearnVest, which launched with the intriguing angle of being a financial education and management platform for women. Last year, the company broadened its target demographic to include men. Now, LearnVest is powering up with a big boost of capital.
LearnVest announced Friday that it has landed $16.5 million in a strategic round of funding from American Express Ventures, Claritas Capital, Carlyle Group founding member Ed Mathias, former T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services CEO Todd Ruppert, and existing investor Accel Partners. The new capital brings LearnVest's total raised to date to $41 million.
The company said that the new capital will be used to scale LearnVest Planning’s Action Program, a seven-step program designed to jumpstart users’ financial planning. Customized to a user’s specific circumstances, the program connects him or her with a certified financial planner to come up with expert “Challenges.” The seven steps of the program include organizing your finances, balancing your budget, planning for the future, finding the right insurance and estate documents, saving for big purchases, figuring out how to allocate investment assets, and updating your program when your situation changes.
In addition to the new funding, LearnVest also added a new west coast office in Phoenix, Arizona (for some reason…?). Dubbed the LearnVest Planning Office, it will serve as a hiring and training hub for the company’s financial planners.
“We believe strongly in the mission of LearnVest Planning to provide accessible financial advice,” said American Express Ventures managing partner Harshul Sanghi, in a statement. “As we seek to expand our portfolio of products across American Express, we believe LearnVest Planning can be an important partner in helping us to bring customers more convenient, affordable and transparent ways to manage their money.”
LearnVest is also angling for some distribution through a partnership with Workplace Solutions, which will bring LearnVest’s services to employees as an employee benefit.
And finally, LearnVest has added four new advisors: Ed Mathias and Todd Ruppert, along with CEO of AOL’s Brand Group Susan Lyne, and former Weight Watchers CFO Ann Sardini.
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