NerdWallet has made its first acquisition, picking up financial planning company AboutLife. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but all six members of the team will be kept on to join NerdWallet’s product, engineering, and marketing teams. With this deal, NerdWallet has moved forward in developing a program for retirement planning.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet cofounder and CEO, shared that the deal has closed and added that although the AboutLife site will be shut down, that’s “not something immediate,” and there are still details to be figured out.
Launched in September, AboutLife offered a way to plan your financial future without worrying about a lot of detailed paperwork. The service asks you a few questions about yourself and uses data analysis to derive the rest of the story, pulling information from the U.S. Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, academic studies, and more. While similar services, like Mint.com and Level, planned out day-to-day savings, AboutLife encouraged more long-term thinking.
The relationship between AboutLife and NerdWallet came about when Chen and AboutLife CEO Rajat Kongovi realized that both of them had similar approaches to retirement. They said that they wanted to take the best of both of their products and create something special on the NerdWallet service. “What struck a chord with me was really feeling like NerdWallet has been doing well…to have the commitment…to affect the financial lives of people,” Kongovi explained.
“We’re always looking for the best way to drive our mission forward,” he continued. “I’m excited about the platform we built and to really help our users understand their retirement. As we worked hard on it, over time it became apparent the best way to accelerate it and reach a large audience was to join forces with someone like NerdWallet.”
For NerdWallet, it wants to be the “go to” place for all things relating to making and managing financial decisions. Chen said that it is expected to hit $100 million in revenue this year and currently has more than 350 employees — 500 by the end of 2016. It has dabbled in the retirement space but hasn’t been able to spend resources there, as its attention was directed elsewhere. For a while, it has provided recommendations on good brokers and even had a light retirement calculator, but the company lacked an offering to help you think holistically about your financial life in retirement.
AboutLife was founded by Kongovi, Bill Gossman, and Michael Owens, all of whom have extensive experience in the startup space. It had previously raised $3 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Kongovi said that his investors “have been supportive” of the deal, and Chen echoed that sentiment, suggesting that NerdWallet’s investors were excited too: “Being able to accelerate the technology and bring on good people is music to our board’s ears.”
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