Keeping control of your finances can mean the difference between being able to afford that daily avocado toast and struggling to pay rent. Millennials already have a wide range of financial pressures to deal with, so anything that can help them stay on top of their budget is welcome.
An app that helps people manage their finances, Truebill today announced that it has raised $5 million in Series A funding and has launched new “Smart Savings” capabilities.
Investors include Cota Capital, Social Capital, Day One Ventures, David Marcus (head of blockchain at Facebook and former president of PayPal), Neil Blumenthal (cofounder of Warby Parker), Dave Gilboa (cofounder of Warby Parker), Jawed Karim (cofounder of YouTube), Troy Carter (partner at Cross Culture VC), Marc Katz (cofounder of Custom Ink), Hiten Shah (cofounder of Crazy Egg and KISSMetrics), and more.
The company has also announced a new CEO, Haroon Mokhtarzada, who cofounded Truebill with his brothers, Yahya and Idris Mokhtarzada. Haroon is the former CEO of Webs.com, a website creation platform he cofounded and sold for $117 million in 2011. While leading Webs.com, Mokhtarzada scaled the platform to 50 million users.
Truebill began as a mobile app designed to get consumers refunds for unwanted subscriptions. Since then, the company has pivoted to help automate consumers’ entire financial lives. Staying on top of subscriptions is still a focus, however, especially for younger consumers. A 2017 ACI report found that 32 percent of payments are set as recurring.
“We began the company as a subscription management platform,” Mokhtarzada told me. “However, we realized that while seeing your subscriptions and bills is useful, it is not very actionable. That’s why we began expanding into additional services, like subscription cancellation, bill negotiation, and outage refunds.”
The app’s new Smart Savings capability lets users automatically withdraw funds to save toward pre-set goals, such as a vacation or home purchase. The solution also features “Automated Outage Credits.” Telecommunication companies, for example, are required by law to offer credit for service outages that occur each month, yet few consumers are aware of this or know how to claim those credits. Truebill automatically secures the credits for its users.
“Our newest update adds additional visibility when it comes to spending, as well as enabling more action through Smart Savings,” Mokhtarzada said. “Our goal is to continue marrying insights with actionability to provide an environment where people can improve their financial lives.”
According to many analysts, U.S. consumers are particularly bad at saving money, with the majority holding less than $1,000.
“Our schools teach many fundamental subjects, including math, reading, writing, science, even biology and physics,” Mokhtarzada said. “Unfortunately, financial literacy is not part of any school curriculum. As a result, a large number of people don’t understand how to run their finances efficiently. We do not believe we can suddenly change the state of financial literacy in the country, but we do believe that by offering consumers an intuitive view of how their money is working (and not working) for them, combined with the ability to easily and quickly take action to improve things, we can make a serious dent in this problem.”
The platform also features bill negotiation and bill tracking capabilities. Last year, Truebill launched a premium service that includes a cancellation concierge service to eliminate unwanted subscriptions.
So what’s next for Truebill?
“Truebill is a great place to track your spending, stop wasting money, and even put some money back in your pocket,” Mokhtarzada said. “As we look forward, we want to be the dashboard that consumers use to run their financial lives. In the coming months, we will be tackling the problem of late fees (something that costs consumers $20 billion per year) by releasing the most intuitive and intelligent bill pay solution on the market.”