Update: 5/17: Student Loan Genius announced today that it has raised $3.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Vestigo Ventures and featured participation from CMFG Ventures, Prudential Financial, and Rubicon Venture Capital.
“This new funding validates Student Loan Genius’ mission and efforts to enable companies to retain their top talent in an increasingly competitive workforce through unique benefits, like student loan payments, that meet their employee’s needs,” Student Loan Genius CEO Matt Beecher said. The company plans to use the investment to support commercialization of their offering and add technology, sales, and marketing talent to their team.
Xconomy is reporting that Austin, Texas-based Student Loan Genius has raised $4.7 million in funding. The news was seconded by Austin Business Journal, which added that 11 investors have participated in the round. Both reports – as well as a third from AmericanInno, are based at least in part on a SEC Form D filing, which suggests that the $4.7 million was part of a larger $5.8 million fundraising initiative. As reported, the new capital more than doubles Student Loan Genius’ total equity funding to more than $7 million.
Student Loan Genius helps young workers retire their student debts faster through a combination of education, debt, analysis, and the assistance of employers. The company helps students search for and identify student loan repayment programs that work best for them (i.e., programs that offer better terms based on higher credit scores, programs that offer discounts for military veterans). Student Loan Genius also enables student loan borrowers to see the difference among repayment options.
The company’s signature feature, demonstrated at FinovateSpring 2016, is Genius Save, which enables employers to attach a student loan benefit to their 401(k) contribution. The goal is to relieve the strain of student loan repayments on the budgets of young workers who are just beginning to save for retirement.
“Like the 401(k), a student loan benefit invests back into employees,” Student Loan Genius’ Content Manager Bobby Hilliard wrote on the company’s blog last month. “While benefits like pet insurance or chef-catered lunches are appealing, a student loan repayment benefit impacts lives immediately. Plus, it’s a great tool for retention.” Hilliard noted that employers offering a student loan contribution to their workers of “even $50 a month” can make a significant impact on their employees’ ability to retire their student debt quicker and begin saving for a home and investing for retirement that much sooner.
Founded in 2013, the company partnered with New York Life last fall, helping the firm launch its student loan repayment program. Last summer, Student Loan Genius joined the inaugural U.S. cohort of BBVA’s program for social entrepreneurs. Prudential Financial, John Hancock, Socratic Ventures, Village Capital, Kapor Capital, and Capital Factory are among the company’s investors. Twenty-five year fintech and venture capital veteran Matt Beecher was appointed CEO of the company in August 2017.