Wealthfront Launches Homeownership Planning Tool

The pressure is high in today’s housing market. Inventory is low in many parts of the U.S. and that, combined with the threat of rising interest rates and booming housing demand, is making home buyers feel the need to buy. Automated investment advisory company Wealthfront announced today that it is here to help with the addition of home planning tools for Path, the company’s automated financial planning solution.

The Path home planning tool aims to help buyers understand what they can afford today and what it may take for them to be able to afford a larger home in the future. Also importantly, the tool shows users how this purchase may impact future goals, such as retiring early or paying for a child’s college tuition. Path extends beyond traditional affordability calculators to show a cost estimate that considers the user’s financial standing and other financial goals.

Leveraging third party data, Path projects future home prices and mortgage rates that are specific to the borrower’s financial situation. The tool also takes into account the varying home prices in different zip codes. Once the borrower defines the specific location and type of house they’re looking for, Path lets them know if they’re on track to afford it. When they find the home they’re looking for, Path advises the user which account the downpayment funds should come from.

This is a noteworthy addition to Path, which originated as a retirement and education planning tool. With this week’s launch of homeownership planning, the tool still has one last financial frontier left– helping users financially plan to start a family.

Wealthfront allows users to invest up to $10,000 for free and currently manages $10.5 billion in assets for investors across the U.S. The company debuted as KaChing in 2009 in the early years of Finovate. Last June, Wealthfront was named to CB Insights’ Fintech 250 list and earlier this month received $75 million in funding, bringing its total raised to $205 million.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Wealthfront Launches Homeownership Planning Tool.
  • Kabbage to Serve Larger Businesses by Expanding Line of Credit to $250k.
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  • TESOBE’s Open Bank Project Powering Santander’s First Hackathon. Come see TESOBE’s Open Bank Project at FinovateEurope in March.

Around the web

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Wealthfront Rakes in $75 Million

Here’s a little-known fact about wealth tech player Wealthfront— the company debuted as KaChing in 2009, then changed its name and relaunched in 2011 as Wealthfront. Another fact about Wealthfront– the California-based company raised $75 million this week.

The financing was led by Tiger Global Management with participation from existing investors Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Social Capital, and Spark Capital. Wealthfront’s total funding now sits at $205 million. While the company has not disclosed its valuation, CB Insights valued it at $700 million in 2014.

In a blog post, Wealthfront founder and CEO Andy Rachleff said that the company will use the financing to help “pursue an even more aggressive push into software-based financial planning and financial services.” He added, “It will also allow us to accelerate our investment in our brokerage infrastructure which should enable us to build and launch new services even more quickly than the accelerated rate at which we did in 2017.”

Among Wealthfront’s new, 2017 offerings was Path, an automated financial planning solution. Path offers an interactive experience that allows users to explore different scenarios that may help them reach their goals. For example, users can input different decisions about their plans for their home once they retire– opting to stay put, downsize, or move to a more expensive home. “We started with retirement planning,” said Rachleff, “because there really aren’t any great options to forecast your financial future outside of basic ‘retirement calculators’ that require a lot of guesswork.”

Similar to Betterment and Personal Capital, Wealthfront offers an automated investment approach. However, the company differentiates itself in a couple of key ways. First, Wealthfront does not offer a hybrid wealth management product– that is, the company does not sell a tiered offering with access to certified financial advisors. Personal Capital has always offered this “high-touch” approach, and Betterment augmented its certified financial advisor offerings last summer. Second, Wealthfront has bundled fintech services by launching a Portfolio Line of Credit product– something unique among the top automated investment services.

Wealthfront allows users to invest up to $10,000 for free and currently manages $9.5 billion in assets for users across the U.S. Last June, the company was named in CB Insights’ Fintech 250 list.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Vera Hires First Chief Financial Officer and Adds Technical Talent.
  • Akamai Appoints Former Verizon CIO as Chief Information Officer.
  • Wealthfront Rakes in $75 Million.
  • Daon Forges Strategic Partnership with North African Technology Innovator GEMADEC.
  • Ghana Government to Leverage Entrust Datacard to Issue National ID Cards.

Around the web

  • Fintech News names Flywire 1 of 8 promising fintechs in Singapore to watch.
  • IDology listed among 50 fastest growing tech companies in 2017.
  • Fiserv VP of Product Strategy for Card Services, Jon Rosner talks about the pace of digital wallet adoption.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

44 Alums Populate CB Insights’ Fintech 250 List

This week, CB Insights unveiled its Fintech 250 list. The research outfit selected 250 emerging, private companies in 17 sub-sectors of fintech that are changing the face of financial services. The roster includes 44 Finovate and FinDEVr alums that were selected using CB Insights’ data-driven process that analyzes company momentum, market participation, funds raised, and investor quality.

The list is in alphabetical order.

Algomi

AutoGravity

Avalara

Behalf

Betterment

Blend

Chain

Coinbase

Credit Karma

Currencycloud

CurrencyFair

Fenergo

Financeit

Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)

Juvo

Kabbage

Kensho

Kreditech

Klarna

LendUp

Moneytree

PayNearMe

Payoneer

Personal Capital

Plaid

Quantopian

Quovo

Revolut

Ripple Labs

Roostify

Signifyd

SocietyOne

Socure

Tink

Token

Tradeshift

Transferwise

TrueAccord

Trulioo

VATBox

Wealthfront

Xignite

Zooz

Zopa

Robo Advisor Wealthfront Launches Line of Credit to Make Users More Liquid

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 1.49.41 PM

Robo advisor pioneer Wealthfront must know that opposites attract: in this case, it’s saving and investing. Today, the company launched a securities-based lending option– a line of credit that allows its users borrow against their own savings accounts.

Through the new Portfolio Line of Credit program, the Redwood City, California-based company will enable users with taxable accounts of over $100,000 to access cash from their portfolio without disrupting their investment strategy. There is no application process or credit check to access the funds, which can amount to up to 30% of the user’s account total and can be accessed within one business day. Because the loan is backed by the borrower’s existing savings, the company is offering rates ranging from 3.25% to 4.50%– much lower than the industry standard.

Wealthfront offers a range of savings accounts, including trust accounts; joint accounts; traditional, SEP, and Roth IRAs; 401(k) rollovers; and a 529 college savings account. In addition to managing these account types, the company offers Selling Plan, a program to help employees diversify their concentrated holdings of company stock.

Founded in 2008 as kaChing, Wealthfront is managing $6 billion for 115,000 clients. The company debuted at FinovateSpring 2009. Earlier this year, Nerdwallet named Wealthfront a Top Pick, placing the company among the best robo advisors overall.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • Robo Advisor Wealthfront Launches Line of Credit to Make Users More Liquid.
  • Our latest FinovateSpring Sneak Peeks are up! Meet Unison, Hedgeable AI Lab, AccountScore, SynapsePay, and HEDG.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Xero Sees $26.4 Million Investment

Around the web

  • Money management app, TD MySpend from TD Bank, closes in on one million users.
  • mBank launches mobile app with Android Pay.
  • ACI Worldwide broadens its relationship with Ant Financial Services mobile payment provider, Alipay.
  • PYMNTS reportsTransferWise To Move Headquarters Out Of UK Due To Brexit.
  • NICE Actimize Launches ActimizeWatch, a Fraud Analytics Optimization Solution.
  • Fiserv to power core processing for SouthEast bank.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • StockTwits Partners with TradeIt to Expand Beyond Robinhood’s Brokerage.

On FinDEVr.com

  • SimplyTapp Launches New Payments and E-Commerce App, Gane.

Around the web

  • TransferTo partners with Wirecard to enable mobile money operators to offer mobile-to-mobile remittance services.
  • Ayondo announces deadline for 2017 social trading championship.
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  • Wealthfront revamps Selling Plan to help users sell and diversify their company stock.
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  • South by Southwest (SXSW) selects Hip Pocket to showcase Hip Money at SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event in March

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fintech Favorites: Token and Fidor Pilot Payments Project; Meet Miss Kaya: Singapore’s First Women-Centered Robo Advisor.
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Around the web

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  • WalesOnline recognizes Wealthify in its feature on Welsh firms “likely to have a very good 2017.” Join Wealthify in London for FinovateEurope in February.
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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Top Direct-to-Consumer Wealthtech Plays

wealthtech4

Our wealthtech industry coverage continues this week. We looked at the industry last week and reviewed the top trends earlier this month. Today we’re taking a look at industry players with B2C offerings—in other words, companies that market directly to consumers and not through businesses.

Since wealthtech is broader than just roboadvisers, we’ve divided B2C wealthtech players into seven categories and laid out our top picks for each group. Since category sizes vary, the number of our selections also vary.

Top in-house builds from traditional players
These are offerings from traditional wealth management firms that have been built in-house (or purchased and then white-labeled) and marketed under the firm’s brand.

Fully automated roboadvisers
These are online platforms that provide automated, algorithm-based portfolio management without intervention from human advisers and without personalized, one-on-one conversations with a human adviser.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-06-40-pmAcorns takes a unique approach by linking a user’s debit card and investing their “spare change”

Hybrid roboadvisers
These are traditional advisory services, including personalized conversations and actively managed portfolios blended with computerized portfolio recommendations. Business Insider reports hybrid roboadvisers will manage 10% of all investable assets by 2025.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-11-08-pmSigFig has partnered with multiple banks, including Wells Fargo, Pershing, and Citizens Bank

Non-U.S. roboadvisers

Alternative investing platforms
These are platforms that link participants to unconventional investment types, such as private equity, hedge funds, futures, real estate, etc.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-18-08-pmWith Motif, uses invest in grouped stocks and ETFs that revolve around a common theme

Non-U.S. alternative investing platforms

News and information companies
These are online platforms that help users discover news and market trends before they go mainstream. Some include social networking aspects.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-23-47-pmTickerTags helps users discover trends even before they become news