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The company will also provide people with advisors, as well as mortgage and insurance products
Maybe it goes without saying, but financial problems are not unique to any one country or any one people. Household debt in Canada, for example, is now reaching record levels, with the average person now owing around $1.78 for every dollar they earn; in 1990, the number was almost half that. On top of that, Canadians now pay over $10 billion every year in financial services fees.
Those issues are why WealthyPlanet was founded: its a fintech company designed to offer free online financial planning to middle-income families who often lack those resources.
"We are launching WealthyPlanet to solve some of the biggest issues faced by everyday Canadians and Canadian families. We are solving these with a simple-to-use construct for a trackable financial and life plan, to provide piece-of-mind and direction to future decisions," John Podlewski, founder and CEO of WealthyPlanet, told VatorNews.
On Tuesday, the company announced that it raised an undisclosed amount seed funding round from Mercanti Management, bring its total raised from founders, friends & family and angel investors to over $600,000.
Founded in 2018, WealthyPlanet helps Canadians with a host of financial issues, including the fact that large numbers of people are burdened by high levels of debt, are underinsured, and are paying high fees on investments. On top of that, 99 percent of the population with less than a $1 million portfolio has no access to quality financial planning, said Podlewski.
"We are targeting the mid-market and upper mid-market that have not had access to an easy-to-use and holistic, free online financial planning tool before. Usually they would be married, have families or hoping to start families, and own or hope to own their own home," he told me.
"They are getting taken advantage of historically by big financial institutions focused on their own margin/profits first, since higher credit card debt means they make more money. Also, there is limited understanding of the one monthly contribution required to achieve financial/life goals."
To solve these problems, WealthyPlanet offers its members planning tools to help them set, manage, and track financial goals, as well as to understand how to contribute toward these goals. The company also provides non-commissioned advisors, and will offer low-fee specially developed insurance, mortgage and wealth management products.
"We leverage the innovative use of technology including on-line and video/voice consultations with advisors. Our advisors are non-commissioned, so they are non-opinionated in their advice. We plan to package/originate our own lower-fee products built for our target market," said Podlewski.
"This will give our business model multiple cost, operational and customer service benefits and differentiation. In addition, our planning tool leverages sophisticated algorithms and will use AI, machine learning to constantly make the customer’s plan and their decisions smarter."
The company is currently finishing building out its alpha/beta services, and plans to begin testing in a few weeks.
The new funding will be used, in part, to expand the team by hiring advisors and other team members; WealthyPlanet currently has 16 employees, including four advisors. It will also be used to expand the company's product and software.
"We want to build our number of advisors/advisor training program to meet future scaling demand on a monthly basis. We would like to increase our developer staff. We are going to build up our primary customer channel where we will have 30,000 exclusive targeted leads to work with. Most importantly, we will develop our US model in 2021," said Podlewski.
Finally it will be used to pursue new product/company acquisitions; specifically, the company is currently looking for an existing EFT platform to purchase.
Over the last five years, while the fintech space has been bullish, with "many new companies offering products such as insurance or ETFs purchased online," said Podlewski, he believes that, "There are not many 'champions' in this sector yet, and it seems like most are single categories and commodity-like."
"We’ve not seen many with a 'FinTech Fusion' model, using live salespeople leveraging online technology and offering multi-trade lines of financial services, like mortgage, insurance and investments. This is our model, starting with best practices in financial/life planning first, via an easy-to-use and holistic free online planning tool," he said.
Ultimately, WealthyPlanet's goal is to be "the standard by with all financial services companies in our target area are measured."
"Success will be when we achieve this," said Podlewski.
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