Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Invests in EarlyBird’s $4M Seed Round

EarlyBird allows parents and family to set aside investments for children.
Gordon Gottsegen
Written by Gordon Gottsegen
November 22, 2021Updated: November 22, 2021
EarlyBird app on smartphone
Photo: EarlyBird

Most kids aren’t very good at managing their money. If your grandma used to give you a birthday card with money in it as a child, odds are you probably blew it on candy or toys, or maybe stuck it in a piggy bank and forgot about it. But Chicago startup EarlyBird believes there’s a better way to give kids money, in order to set them up for future success.

EarlyBird has created an app that allows parents and family members to set up an investment account for their children, and choose from different types of investment portfolios that are meant to grow in value over time. From there, loved ones can send money to the child for birthdays, holidays or any occasion, and it will be automatically invested. On top of that, each contribution to the account can be accompanied by a personal video or special photo, in order to let the child know where the money came from and provide a collection of re-watchable memories.

Children are given access to this money when they turn 18, and hopefully by then the money in the account will be significantly more than what was put in. In addition to funding a child’s future, EarlyBird’s goal is to teach kids about investing. By watching this account grow over time, hopefully kids learn the importance of long-term investing strategies and that money doesn’t have to be spent as soon as it’s received.

EarlyBird was founded in 2019, but the company has already captured the attention of some high-profile investors. On Monday, EarlyBird announced the close of its $4 million seed funding round. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Seven Seven Six Ventures led the round, with participation from Gemini’s Frontier Fund, Network Ventures, Rarebreed Ventures and more.

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The EarlyBird app launched less than a year ago, and already the company has seen the app gaining some traction. EarlyBird points out that 60 percent of its users have a total household income of less than $100,000, which the company says speaks to the financial accessibility of its platform. And EarlyBird isn’t the only startup in the space to attract recent attention — LA-based UNest landed a $26 million Series B last week.

“EarlyBird started with the vision to create an accessible way for all families to begin building wealth for their children, and to do so with the support, love and contributions of their broader communities,” EarlyBird CEO and co-founder Jordan Wexler said in a statement. “Since our launch, we’ve seen incredible growth, adoption and excitement from families with a wide range of financial knowledge and backgrounds.”

The new seed funding will help EarlyBird continue to build its platform. The company says it plans to introduce a handful of new features — including the ability to invest or gift other forms of assets, like cryptocurrency. EarlyBird will also use the funding to grow its team, with an emphasis on expanding its engineering, product, marketing and operations teams.

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