By Ken Yeung for VentureBeat
The world of technology and finance is rapidly changing, opening up not only new opportunities but also new pitfalls. Retirees are among the most vulnerable groups, and True Link Financial wants to be the service to protect their money. To do that, the company has raised an additional $3.6 million in venture capital, led by Kapor Capital and Cambia.
Other investors participating in the round include Ziegler Link-Age, Symmetrical Ventures, and Initialized Capital.
“We think seniors are the most exciting market in financial services today,” said Kai Stinchcombe, True Link’s chief executive. “Half of the wealth in the U.S. is owned by people 59 years and over, and as baby boomers retire, the tidal wave is only growing. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the role that technology can play in helping today’s retirees live the independent, fulfilling lives they deserve.”
The company plans on using the funds to accelerate its growth, specifically around marketing its software tools that are used to oversee benefits eligibility and its debit card product. It is also gearing up to launch its online financial advisory service. Called True Link Financial Advisors, the service is moving out of beta and will soon be a resource users can go to in order to manage their monetary affairs. Stinchcombe informed VentureBeat that previously the “bulk of our expenses were setting up shop and keeping the lights on while we got things going. This round is about accelerating our outreach to people who can benefit from our products and services.”
In the long term, True Link sees itself as a full-service financial institution for seniors. It competes against the likes of target date funds, annuities, and traditional personal advisors, such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo Advisors. But while it’s a technology company, True Link doesn’t believe in forcing its customers to use technology for customer support. Stinchcombe explained that his firm handles more than a million phone calls a year, with all of its team based in the U.S.
“I think it’s actually a huge differentiator, because everyone else is trying to push people to online, and we decided phone and email and SMS was going to be a core competency,” he said. “There’s a thesis there that after three decades of banking technology being used to make service more uniform, we’re going to swing back in a direction of technology being used to make service more personalized.”
Just how well the company is doing remains to be seen, as True Link declined to provide specifics, except to say it has grown “100 times” over the past two years, or 10 times a year.
Today’s announcement brings the company’s fundraising total to $7 million.
First appeared at VB