Fintech Startup EarlyBird Raises $2.4M to Enable Investments in Children’s Futures

The Chicago startup is launching a way for parents to give the lasting gift of wealth to their kids. With the EarlyBird app, family and friends can collectively invest in the futures of the children they love.

Written by Ashley Bowden
Published on Dec. 02, 2020
Fintech Startup EarlyBird Raises $2.4M to Enable Investments in Children’s Futures
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PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

The future of gift giving is getting a little easier for parents who are tired of scouring department store aisles for new kids’ toys. Instead of buying a plaything for their children to enjoy immediately, EarlyBird is making it possible for parents, and others, to give their children the gift of financial security years down the line. With a newly raised $2.4 million led by Network Ventures, the company is one step closer to reaching this goal.

Via mobile app, parents can open custodial accounts where they, alongside aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends can collectively deposit monetary gifts. After a successful beta test, the company is already set to launch its centralized gifting platform on the App Store in mid-December.

Three years ago, co-founders Jordan Wexler, the company’s CEO, and Caleb Frankel, its COO, started searching for ways to provide meaningful gifts for their new family members. After spending hundreds of dollars on toys and clothes that would soon be outgrown, the idea came to start a better way to invest in the children’s lives.

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After turning to investing apps as a remedy, the two found that none of them solely focused on next generational wealth. This is how the concept for EarlyBird was born.

“None of them were truly leveraging the power of the gifting economy, the power of the network and community around these kids we love most,” Wexler told Built In. “For us, we really want to make gifting a transformational and connected process, that’s our true dream.”

On the EarlyBird app, users can connect to their phone contacts and select the parent of the child they’d like to gift to, as well as the child who’ll receive it. After inputting a dollar amount, givers are shown the compound interest of that amount over 18 years.

“Right now there’s not anyone on the market that’s facilitating such a frictionless approach to fixing a financial asset,” Frankel said.

What also sets EarlyBird apart is the inclusion of an inspirational video memory that givers can record to accompany their investments. When the child reaches legal age, the account becomes their own, complete with up to $30,000 in savings and a library of memories recorded by the loved ones who’ve invested in them over that span of time.

“This is a great option to enable connection and thinking toward the future in these difficult times,” Frankel said. “There’s going to be a ton of expansion to this concept of emotional gifting and gifting meaningfully in a connective fashion over the coming years as we evolve the product.”

The company’s new funding will go toward increasing its current headcount of 15. EarlyBird has open positions in engineering, growth marketing and customer success.

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