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个人理财创企SmartAsset获2800万美元融资

六年前,SmartAsset推出了自己的第一款产品。这是一种允许潜在购房者分析租房与购房决策,并看看他们实际上可以买得起什么样房子的工具。

根据联合创始人兼首席执行官Michael Carvin的说法:“在消费者方面,我们的战略从未真正改变过。我们的使命是帮助人们做出最好的个人理财决策,并为个人理财决策打造最佳网络资源。”

当然,公司在某些方面已经取得了发展。一方面,SmartAsset现在提供多种类别的工具、计算器和内容,包括税收、退休和银行业务。

另一方面,它今天宣布在C轮融资中获得了2800万美元投资,使其融资总额超过5100万美元。新一轮融资的投资者包括Focus Financial Partners(一家由Stone Point Capital和KKR支持的公司)、Javelin Venture Partners、TTV Capital、IA Capital、Contour Venture Partners、Citi Ventures和Fabrice Grinda等。

Carvin表示,SmartAsset上个月达到了4500多万流量,同比几乎翻了一番。其中25%的流量来自重复访问者。

至于SmartAsset如何通过这些访客实现盈利,其部分原因是通过推广抵押贷款等金融产品。但Carvin说,最大的盈利来源是SmartAdvisor平台,它将理财顾问与潜在投资者联系起来。

Carvin将其描述为“网络首个理财顾问数字引领平台”,并将SmartAsset业务模式与Zillow进行了比较,称两家公司都已经建立了大量的用户基础,并实现了与房地产或理财专业人士的匹配。

在SmartAsset的情况下,用户填写一个问卷,然后与SmartAsset礼宾服务人员一起,帮助他们找到一个合适的顾问。Carvin补充说,该平台的顾问已经接受过公司的筛选,例如确保他们没有任何犯罪行为,在过去十年的证交会中没有任何针对他们的投诉。

当被问及是否因为专注于理财顾问而导致SmartAsset改变其设计消费产品的方式时,Carvin说:“我们相信用户体验越好,我们的业务就会越好。因此,当我们构建退休工具、家庭负担能力工具和税收工具时,我们只有在考虑消费者利益的情况下才开展这项工作。”

展望未来,Carvin表示他计划继续遵循这一战略。

“我们将打造出网络首选的个人理财资源,然后在顾问一侧充分利用这一点,”他说。

I first wrote about SmartAsset nearly six years ago, when it launched its first product, a tool allowing prospective homebuyers to analyze the rent vs. buy decision and to see what kind of home they could actually afford.

According to co-founder and CEO Michael Carvin, “On the consumer side, our strategy has never really changed. Our mission is to help people make the best personal finance decisions and to build the web’s best resource for personal finance decision-making.”

Of course, some aspects of the company have evolved. For one thing, SmartAsset  now offers tools, calculators and content in a number of categories, including taxes, retirement and banking.

For another, it’s announcing today that it has raised $28 million in Series C funding, bringing its total raised to more than $51 million. The new round comes from Focus Financial Partners (a firm backed by Stone Point Capital and KKR), Javelin Venture Partners, TTV Capital, IA Capital, Contour Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, Fabrice Grinda and others.

Carvin said SmartAsset reached more than 45 million uniques last month, nearly doubling its traffic year-over-year. And 25 percent of that traffic comes from repeat visitors.

As for how SmartAsset makes money from those visitors, it does so partly by promoting financial products like mortgages. But Carvin said the biggest piece is the SmartAdvisor platform, which connects financial advisors with potential investors.

Carvin described it as “the web’s first digital lead generation platform for financial advisors,” and compared the SmartAsset business model to Zillow’s, saying both companies have built big audiences that they can then match up with real estate or finance professionals.

In SmartAsset’s case, users fill out a questionaire and then work with a SmartAsset concierge to help them find an advisor who’s a good fit. Carvin added that the advisors on the platform have been screened by the company, for example to ensure that they haven’t had any criminal violations and that SEC hasn’t upheld any complaints against them for the past decade.

Asked whether this focus on financial advisors has led SmartAsset to change the way it designs its consumer products Carvin said, “We believe the better the user experience, the better our business will work. And so when we’re building a retirement tool, a home affordability tool, a tax tool, we’re building that only with the consumer interest in mind.”

Looking ahead, Carvin said he plans to continue following this strategy.

“We’re going to build out the web’s premiere personal finance resources and then leverage that on advisor side,” he said.


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