In its first outside-capital raise, personal investment-management platform Blooom has hauled in $4 million. The Series A round was led by QED Investors, a firm that has invested in a variety of fintech startups—and Finovate alums—in recent years, ranging from Braintree and Credit Karma to Prosper and LendUp.
Also participating in the round were DST Systems Inc., Commerce Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and UMB.
Blooom Co-Founders Chris Costello and Randy AufDerHeide demonstrated at FinovateFall 2014.
Blooom operates in one of the more interesting niches in personal investment management, 401(k) accounts. Unlike other investors, many 401(k) account holders never asked for them—they were simply a job benefit. As such, 401(k) investors represent a potentially huge market of investors who need help managing these accounts wisely.
The company’s leadership team includes former investment banker Greg Smith who penned the notorious “Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs” piece for the New York Times in 2012. Now president of Blooom, Smith feels he is finally with an organization that “aligns with his values” and the issues of customer service and putting clients first he wrote about in his critical NYT op-ed.
Blooom works by giving investors a short questionnaire about their current financial status, risk tolerance, and investment preferences. Consumers can take advantage of the free 401(k) comparative analysis or sign up for ongoing account management, including rebalancing and allocation adjustments. Price is either $1 a month for clients with account values below $20,000, or $15 a month for larger accounts.
Read more about Blooom in its Finovate debut feature from last fall.
Recent headlines for Blooom include winning a grant last month from LaunchKC. The company has been profiled in Forbes, highlighted as a member of the “Silicon Prairie” in Inc, and referred to as “the future of retail savings” by COOConnect.
Founded in February 2013 and headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, Blooom demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2014 in New York .