M1 Finance just raised $45 million to help consumers fill their pocketbooks.
The Chicago-based company plans to invest the Series C cash on staffing up and developing its tech. Bob Armour, chief marketing officer, said the fintech startup aims to double its 75-person team in 2021.
“Our goal is to empower people to reach a better place of financial wellness,” Armour told Built In. “We think our growth trajectory is a strong one, and we are looking for the best possible talent across all our functions to come join us.”
Founded in 2015, M1 Finance is an investing app that allows its users to manage and grow their money through automated brokering, portfolio lines of credit and digital banking. The idea is to provide a space for people to take control of their personal finances by investing, borrowing and spending all on one platform. Unlike competitors Robinhood, Wealthfront and Chase Bank and other brokerages, Armour said M1 offers a free platform that empowers the users to invest on their own terms, instead of an organization’s fund, bringing total visibility to their financial state.
“In some of our competitors, what’s going on is very opaque, meaning they’re going to do whatever they want with your money based on your guidance and then charge you a fee,” Armour said.
The company plans to invest the Series C round in refining its recently launched Smart Transfers feature, allowing users to set goals for how their cash is deposited — like saving up to $1,000 in an emergency fund, and then working to pay down their credit cards — rather than articulating that they want a certain amount bankrolled into a specific institutional fund.
“Once you set that up with Smart Transfers, it’s done and the machine just runs that for you in the background,” Armour said. “Smart Transfers enables you to know that you’re doing the right things with your money without paying day-to-day attention to it.”
The Series C round brings total investment in M1 to just under $100 million, and comes just three months after the company raised $33 million in a Series B round.
Since the start of the year, Armour said the company has doubled the total number of users to 500,000, grew the amount of managed assets on its platform to $2.1 billion and nearly doubled its headcount to 75 people. The company plans to continue this growth, and is hiring marketers, software engineers, product managers and more.
“It’s been a strong market,” Armour said. “So the base of our customers assets have grown because the market has gone up this year.”
Left Lane Capital led the round, with participation from Jump Capital and Clocktower Technology Ventures.