Brightside has raised $4 million in funding for its platform to improve employees’ financial health and has appointed Tom Spann, formerly CEO of health care company Accolade, as its new CEO.
The announcement was made at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas, where attendees are discussing the future of health care. Comcast Ventures and Trinity Ventures led the round, and Comcast is signing on as Brightside’s first client.
Financial stress is a leading cause of lost productivity at work, according to an employee financial wellness survey by accounting firm PwC. The Federal Reserve Board said if faced with an unexpected $400 emergency expense, 44 percent of adults either could not immediately pay or would need to borrow or sell something to cover the cost. Many employees are also saddled with student loan debt and have to borrow on their 401(k) savings to cover expenses.
“For years, companies have focused on the physical and emotional health of employees, offering a myriad of solutions, without nearly as much emphasis on their financial well-being,” said Shawn Leavitt, senior vice president of Total Rewards at Comcast, in a statement. “Now, we as employers are recognizing the impact financial health has on our workforce. Brightside helps our employees better navigate and manage their financial well-being and also gives us a competitive advantage by enhancing the portfolio of benefits we offer and making our benefits package more meaningful to people’s everyday lives.”
Brightside will support each employee’s unique financial situation with a mobile app and financial assistants, both backed by a proprietary financial methodology, modern behavioral science, and easy access to the financial product options curated personally to save them money. For example, Brightside helped one employee save $3,000 in credit card interest payments, reduced the time to be debt-free by two years, and improved their credit score in the process.
“Employers now have a simple solution for the huge costs of reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and serious health issues that arise from financial stress. It is well established that financial stress makes us less healthy, less intelligent, and lonelier,” said Spann, in a statement. “We’re building Brightside for employers who are focused on helping their employees make better financial decisions.”
The Brightside founding team includes executives Callum King (cofounder and previous CEO) from Comcast Ventures, Christine Tozzi from Willis Towers Watson, Jacky Chiu from LifeLock, and Petrina Thompson from American Express. Michael Yang, managing director of Comcast Ventures, and Schwark Satyavolu, general partner of Trinity Ventures, have joined the Brightside board.
The company has 20 employees and was founded in 2017 by King and Shawn Leavitt. Spann served as CEO of Accolade for nine years.
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