SmartAsset rethinks financial advice and becomes a unicorn in the process – TechCrunch


SmartAsset, a marketplace that connects consumers with financial advisors, today announced it has raised $ 110 million in a Series D funding round.

The funding values ​​New York-based SmartAsset at over $ 1 billion and brings its total raised since its inception in 2012 to just over $ 161 million, according to Crunchbase.

TTV Capital led SmartAsset Series D, which also included participation from Javelin Venture Partners, Contour Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, New York Life Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners and CMFG Ventures.

The company last raised in June 2018 – a $ 28 million Series C led by Focus Financial Partners. Since then, he claims to have increased his income “by 10 times” and is now on the verge of reaching $ 100 million in ARR (annual recurring income). He recently completed his millionth consumer / advisor match on his SmartAdvisor platform. Also in 2020, SmartAsset said it transferred $ 10 billion in new closed assets under management (AUM) to financial advisors and businesses across the United States.

In addition to matching consumers with advisors with its automated financial modeling software, SmartAsset claims to reach over 100 million people each month through its personal finance content, tools and “personalized” calculators.

Before starting the business, Carvin worked in finance. In an interview with Y Combinator (one of his backers), he explained how his frustration at finding information about buying a home and getting a mortgage “helpful, accurate and impartial ”Led him to join forces with Philip Camilleri to found SmartAsset.

“The calculators had obvious errors and the content seemed to have been entirely written by people who wanted me to take the biggest mortgage loan possible,” he added. So the duo launched SmartAsset with the goal of providing people with the tools and content to help them make better decisions on topics such as retirement, taxes, savings, homeownership and income. assurance.

Image credits: CEO and co-founder of SmartAsset Michael Carvin / SmartAsset

The company plans to use the new capital to invest in new product offerings, technology infrastructure and data partnerships. It also plans to increase its current workforce of 202 by more than 75% this year.

Mark Johnson, partner of TTV Capital, said the company is “rapidly expanding its lead in one of the largest markets in the United States by providing an incredibly valuable resource for consumers and financial advisers.”

Funding and its flashy valuation carry some weight, even in the growing world of unicorn businesses.

The company claims that with today’s news, co-founder Michael Carvin now becomes the third black founder and CEO of a company valued at over $ 1 billion. Others include Compass CEO and Founder Robert Reffkin, who we recently featured here, and Calendly CEO and Founder, Tope Awotona, who we also featured.

While exciting, the unfortunate scarcity of black-led unicorns is a symptom of the historic underfunding of black or African-American startup founders. Crunchbase estimates that in 2020, 1% of total venture capital funding, or $ 1 billion, went to this cohort of founders.

“I hope seeing more successful black founders inspire more people of color to start businesses so that one day this is not news anymore,” Carvin told TechCrunch.

A number of black-led venture capital firms have closed investments in the past year, which could change that number, including Collab Capital’s $ 50 million investment vehicle, Harlem Capital, which closed a $ 134 million seed fund earlier this year; Cleo Capital, which set a target of $ 20 million for Fund II; and MaC VC, which raised $ 103 million for its inaugural fund.

HBCUvc and Google for Startups also announced this month two separate efforts to provide non-dilutive capital to early stage and under-represented founders.

With a D-series under its belt, SmartAsset strives to remove bias from personal finance – while in itself this is a case study of how neglected founders, who regularly suffer from this exact phenomenon , continue to lead strong businesses.


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