Altruist has raised an $8.5 million Series A funding round led by Venrock to build the first-ever fully integrated digital brokerage platform for financial advisors. The platform will offer advisors commission-free trading, fractional shares, the ability to open accounts online in minutes, and seamless integration between brokerage services and native portfolio accounting software.
Over their 50-year history of venture investing, Venrock has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs develop products that change the way we live, including early investments in groundbreaking companies like Apple, Intel, Cloudflare, Personal Capital, and Dataminr.
As part of the capital raise, Nick Beim will be joining the Altruist Board of Directors. Nick brings nearly 20 years of successful venture investing, helping startups like Dataminr scale to become hugely successful players in their markets.
“Today’s RIA technology products are not known for their efficiency, low cost or delightful user experience. Altruist combines these products in its seamlessly integrated digital investing platform, which results in extraordinary ROI for financial advisors and enables them to spend far more time with clients.”
Nick will join Altruist’s CEO and founder Jason Wenk on the board. Jason made waves with his first two companies, Retirement Wealth and FormulaFolios. With Jason as CEO, FormulaFolios achieved a 13,927% three-year growth rate and manages nearly $4 billion today. This rapid growth ranked the firm as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the country by Inc. magazine four years in a row, reaching as high as #10.
Jason was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018 and is looking forward to tackling what he sees as one of the biggest problems in financial services today.
“Our mission is to make financial advice better, more affordable, and more accessible. To accomplish this, we need to modernize the tools available to financial advisors. The investment and support from Venrock will help us radically transform the way RIAs are able to serve their clients.”
While several custodians have recently introduced commission-free trading to stay competitive among robo advisors, Jason addresses this as the tip of the iceberg in his recent article, explaining that there are far more hidden costs in things like fund expenses, kickbacks, and numerous unnecessary fees.
Jason estimates that Altruist will save advisors upwards of 95% on software costs and enable them to grow their businesses much more rapidly. While he’s looking forward to giving advisors the much-needed support they need to manage their businesses, he’s most excited about what this does for the everyday investor.
“One of the most exciting things we’ll be doing is putting more of investors’ returns back in their own accounts. The hidden costs of investing will drop about 60% and with the savings and efficiency gains financial advisors will experience, we think the cost for a qualified financial advisor will drop significantly, too.”
Altruist kicked off at the beginning of 2019 and released a beta version of its Portfolio Accounting software in July. The full platform will be available to the public in early 2020.
Originally established as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family in 1969, Venrock partners with entrepreneurs to build some of the world’s most disruptive, successful companies. With a primary focus on technology and healthcare, portfolio companies have included Apple, Intel, Gilead, Checkpoint, Doubleclick, Illumina, Millennium, Nest, CloudFlare, 10x and Dataminr. For more information, please visit Venrock’s website at www.venrock.com and follow the firm on Twitter at @venrock.
Altruist is a Los Angeles-based fintech company on a mission to make financial advisors better, more affordable, and accessible to more people. The team builds products to help advisors increase efficiency and offers an investment platform that substantially lowers costs. As the first completely digital brokerage, Altruist helps advisors provide their clients with a delightful experience with their money.
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