Tom Spann, CEO of Brightside
Article originally posted on Insider.com
Written by: Emilia David
- Brightside works with employers to provide financial wellness benefits to employees.
- It raised $33 million from firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and Trinity Ventures.
- CEO Tom Spann told Insider his plan to hire more and expand internationally to land more customers.
As more people feel the impacts of inflation, fintech Brightside wants to reach more people looking to make the most of their paychecks. And it’s even considering the possibility of going global to find them.
Brightside, which sells its financial wellness platform to businesses for use as an employee benefit, is currently based in Arizona and only serves US businesses. But now, it’s looking to reach people in other countries where its bigger customers have employees, Tom Spann, CEO of Brightside, tells Insider. To reach more customers, Brightside raised $33 million in Series B funding on Thursday in a round led by Obvious Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures, Clocktower Technology Ventures, and Chestnut Street Ventures.
Brightside’s AI platform uses information like salary and financial goals to suggest to employees personalized products for savings, loans, or other financial needs. It sources the products primarily from lenders and other banking institutions. Brightside integrates with a company’s payroll to facilitate automatic savings for the employees and includes access to human advisers on top of the automated suggestions.
The latest round brings Brightside’s total funding to $75 million, after a $35.1 million in Series A funding round in June 2020. The Series B fundraising is smaller given the current economy, but the company’s valuation has not been lowered because of this, according to Spann.
Brightside was valued at $120 million before the Series B funding round, according to PitchBook. The startup did not disclose a more up to date valuation.
Since launching in 2018, more than 300,000 employees at fewer than 15 employers have used Brightside’s product, according to Spann. Many of Brightside’s customers are Fortune 500 companies with around 30,000 staff. Spann did not specify the exact amount or list customer names.
“Our average customer size is over 20,000 to 30,000 people, but there are plenty of companies with just 5,000 employees, and we’d love to serve them too,” Spann said.
Financial wellness became a big topic for employees as companies aim to provide more benefits to entice them to stay. Startups offering personalized financial recommendations have also seen investor interest. Uprise, a personal finance app for Gen Z, raised $1.4 million in pre-seed funding this year. And roboinvestment company Betterment hinted at looking to acquire financial wellness companies as it seeks to expand beyond investment.
The additional fundraising will help Brightside compete by hiring more people, around 200, to support more new users in the coming year, according to Spann. These new hires will be in different departments and will mainly be located in Brightside’s locations in Chandler, Arizona, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.
One possible area of expansion for Brightside is going international. While there are yet to be concrete plans, Spann said the company understands the need to provide financial wellness to employees is not limited to the United States. Many of its larger customers also have employees outside the US that may be a way in to global markets for Brightside, according to Spann.
“The next generation expansion for us is going to be global, and that’s an exciting prospect for us,” Spann said.