Fintech The Beans targets the benevolent American class with $ 2 million – Crunchbase News
Fintech startup The Beans has raised $ 2 million to continue developing its automated financial and behavioral well-being offering for people labeled “America’s Caring Class”, those with stable earnings in the professions, including teachers, nurses and social workers.
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The investment was led by Precursor Ventures, with participation from Relay Ventures, One Planet VC, Swing Ventures and Oxford Angel Fund, as well as a group of angel investors.
“I started my career as a teacher in New York and also working in nonprofit organizations, and I observed that everyone who worked with me was stressed out about money,” said the Founder and CEO of The Beans, Melissa Pancoast, at Crunchbase News. “It was not just us, but the parents of the children we were teaching.”
Pancoast returned to school to study financial behavior and ended up leading a team as a researcher at the Center for Evidence-Based Interventions at the University of Oxford. She developed the “Economic Strengthening” program which has proven effective in reducing financial stress and abuse in families.
The program was then rolled out to 77 million families around the world as part of the emergency response to COVID-19 by organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the United Nations, she said.
When she moved to the Bay Area and was hit with her own student loan debt, Pancoast admitted she was stunned. She was using spreadsheets to manage everything and was starting to feel stressed.
“People talk a lot about financial stress, but not about what actually reduces it,” she added. “We’re looking at what we can do with the products, to find out how people think and feel about money. “
She launched The Beans, based in San Francisco in 2017, with data in mind. Pancoast and his team have created their own machine learning models designed for behavior change.
The product is built on three principles: having a financial plan gives you 10 times the chance of success, having savings improves decision-making – and that doesn’t have to be a six-month nest egg either, she said. , just something that is achievable – and spending money in accordance with your values.
“The Beans’ unique visual financial planning shows you all of your resources and allows you to divide them into categories so you can find out if you have enough money,” Pancoast said. “If you’re in a good position you can even play where your money can go. “
Pancoast estimates that 40 million people have careers in what is considered the “benevolent class,” although there is debate that brings that figure to 100 million, she added. The Beans also works with 80 distribution partners, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the YMCA, and two Teach for America regions.
As such, she expects to use the new funding for technology and product development, as well as for new hires.
“We are excited to put the money to work to develop the team and the technology to extend the product’s reach to new markets,” said Pancoast. “When people are stressed out about their money, they do things to make themselves feel better. We’re able to be in their headspace and then be like the Nike training club to train them on how to get there.
What investors have to say
Meanwhile, other startups focused on financial planning have also recently caught the attention of investors, including:
- GoalBasedInvestors, which aims to provide access to anyone who wants goal-based financial planning and advice, raised $ 2.75 million in seed funding, led by True Ventures, in April.
- SeedFi announced a $ 15 million increase in Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz for its platform to build credit, savings and financial planning.
- Baubap, a Mexico-based mobile lending platform, in March closed a $ 3 million growth round of Mexican financial services company Grupo Alfin for its proprietary technology to boost financial inclusion and education. .
- Monashees and ONEVC led a $ 5 million funding round in Brazilian fintech startup Facio, which is developing a financial education platform that not only offers free lectures and classes, but also up-front services. salary.
Charles Hudson, CEO of Precursor VC, said in an interview that The Beans provides unique insight into someone’s current behavior.
“Melissa has a ton of interesting and intelligent information, as well as the ability to figure out what she might be solving with software,” Hudson added. “The Bean is also reaching out to an initial group of clients that other investors thought you couldn’t help because they didn’t have enough money. This is a false assumption, and I have no doubts that Melissa and her team are building something consumers want. “
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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