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Financial-advice engine now helps users understand tax and cash-flow implications when buying a home
SmartAsset, a Y Combinator-backed startup that helps people make financial decisions, announced Thursday that it's raised $900,000 in seed funding from NY-based Quotidian Ventures, and angel investors from New York and Silicon Valley. At the same time, the company said it now has 14,000 users on its platform, just three weeks after launch.
SmartAsset raised the funds to accelerate product development and ramp up its marketing effort.
SmartAsset essentially is focused on helping people make decisions about their finances. For now, it's focused on home-buying questions, such as, what mortgage can a person afford based on their income and down payment. But there are 23 other big financial decisions that SmartAsset would like to be able to provide answers for, such as whether to buy or lease a car, and how to pay for a child's education, and how to save for retirement.
"We're scratching the surface in terms of ultimate product experience," said Michael Carvin, founder and CEO, in an interview. "We want to answer all of your important financial questions, not just home ownership. We'll move on to decision areas like should I go back to school? How should I buy a car? And, then retirement planning and planning for a family."
Expanding on its current home-buying questions that it answers, SmartAsset now answers questions, such as "How much can a person borrow."
Today, the site can help consumers with seven financial questions. Over time, Carvin hopes that expands to hundreds.
SmartAsset has parallels to Mint, a service that helps consumers manage their bookkeeping. Like Mint, SmartAsset is gathering tons of data about users and their finances. SmartAsset, however, helps consumers make "big" decisions, whereas Mint helps you save up for smaller goals, like vacations. But they both are helping consumers manage their finances and they both make their money by selling leads.
If SmartAsset can be as successful as Mint gathering information around financial intent, it will have a very valuable user base.
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SmartAsset makes life’s biggest decisions easier by bringing full transparency to the process. It’s the Web’s first personal finance platform designed to empower people with highly personalized information and recommendations around major financial decisions. SmartAsset’s platform will start with home buying analysis and expand to over 24 other life-changing financial decisions, such as whether to go back to school or when to retire. Founded in 2011, SmartAsset is funded by Y Combinator and angel investors in New York and Silicon Valley.