Fintech startup Honest Dollar nabs $3 mln seed

Austin, Texas-based financial tech startup Honest Dollar has secured $3 million in seed funding. Expansive Ventures led the round.


AUSTIN, TX, March 16, 2015 // Honest Dollar — an Austin, Texas fintech start-up that just announced its product at SXSW — has raised $3M in seed funding led by Silicon Valley-based Expansive Ventures. Honest Dollar will use this funding to accelerate its delivery of a small business-focused, app-based alternative to cost-prohibitive 401(k) programs.

Honest Dollar will allow small businesses a way to provide employees with a retirement savings account for a predictable flat rate of $10 per employee per month. In exclusively serving small businesses, Honest Dollar will be able to give over 70M working Americans something they’ve never had before — access to a retirement savings plan (via curated Vanguard ETFs).

Interested employers can sign up for a plan in under 90 seconds and then Honest Dollar will work directly with employees, relieving small businesses of the time-consuming burden of selecting and then administering a retirement plan. Employees themselves will be able to quickly set up their retirement savings account through the company’s app. Honest Dollar will asses no fee for managing an employee’s investments — the company will be solely compensated by the employer.

“Honest Dollar’s vision is simple: bring honesty, transparency and simplicity to financial services,” said Honest Dollar CEO Will Hurley. “To do so, we’ve combined an incredible team of engineers who have worked for Apple, IBM, NASA, Airbus, Astrium, Argonne National Lab and the Federal Reserve with financial experts who have worked at J.P. Morgan, Prudential, Mercer and Merrill Lynch.”

Honest Dollar came to the attention of venture capital firm Expansive Ventures when Managing Partner Jon Soberg started looking for investments to complement his deep experience in financial services. Soberg’s Expansive Ventures, co-founded with The Founder Institute’s Adeo Ressi, started investing in 2015 and Honest Dollar is one of their early investments.

“Expansive Ventures believes great companies don’t just start in the Valley. Our global network of over 4,000 CEOs and investors helps us find great teams chasing huge opportunities, like Honest Dollar, anywhere in the world. Once we invest, we bring the full power of that network to support the company. Next up for us with Honest Dollar is helping them choose the absolute best board member who can help their company, and putting that person in Expansive’s board seat.”

To bring Honest Dollar to market, Soberg made room in the round for other investors as well. Expansive introduced Honest Dollar’s Hurley to Mint founder Aaron Patzer, Core Innovation Capital and Formation 8.

“Partnering with Jon Soberg and Adeo Ressi at Expansive Ventures was one of the best moves we’ve made in Honest Dollar’s short history,” said Hurley. “Thanks to them we now have an incredible list of both fund and personal investors.”

Honest Dollar is currently allowing small businesses to sign up for its beta product, which is anticipated to be released in early summer.

About Honest Dollar
Honest Dollar is a different kind of fintech start-up. What AirBnB did to hospitality, and Uber did to transportation, Honest Dollar will do to financial services. Its first product will focus on “frictionless” retirement plans.

About Expansive Ventures
Expansive Ventures is a network-based venture capital firm that leverages the global scale of the Founder Institute to access the best early-stage deals anywhere in the world.