Three-time Finovate Best of Show-winner LearnVest has agreed to be acquired by insurance giant Northwestern Mutual. As reported in Fortune.com, the company was bought for more than $250 million in cash.
LearnVest CEO and founder Alexa von Tobel said that her company’s acquisition by Northwestern Mutual will only extend her mission to bring “affordable, accessible, and delightful … unbiased financial planning” to a broader range of American households. Von Tobel will remain Chief Executive of the company, which will serve as an independent subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual, maintaining its LearnVest brand.
Above (left to right): LearnVest CEO and founder Alexa von Tobel presenting at FinovateFall 2013 in New York.
LearnVest combines a free, online PFM platform with the opportunity to work with professional, human financial advisors for a one-time set-up fee of $299 and $19/month for ongoing support. Tim Schaefer, executive vice president of operations and technology at Northwestern Mutual said, “We see that from an innovation standpoint, there’s a real opportunity to bring together cutting-edge technology with that human touch.”
And with Learnvest the second big finech acquisition of the week (Kofax being the first), it is all the more interesting to consider the take from Inc.com’s Jeremy Quittner, who suggested that acquisition may sometimes be a preferable “exit strategy” than an IPO for startups. LearnVest had raised $70 million in funding from 15 investors, according to Crunchbase, and was valued at more than a “cool quarter-billion” last spring during its most recent funding round.
LearnVest won Best of Show honors at each of its three Finovate appearances (FinovateFall 2011, FinovateFall 2012, and FinovateFall 2013). The company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in New York City.