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"HelloWallet gives financial advice to Americans" -- President Bill Clinton on CNN's Larry King Show
Earlier today, we announced our leadership of the Series A Round at HelloWallet with Jean and Steve Case's Case Foundation Ventures. For Grotech Ventures and myself, it is an opportunity to reprise our successful teamwork with Case Foundation Ventures at LivingSocial with another consumer oriented enterprise. Here again, one based in Washington, DC. The quality of start ups in the Nation's Capital is well represented by LivingSocial and HelloWallet.
This is an exciting company that promises to provide financial advice and guidance to the 80% of Americans that lack access to sound financial advice today. HelloWallet, which launched in March 2010, is already providing its service through partnerships with companies and other organizations that employ or serve more than 3.5 million people. The product will be primarily offered via employer benefit programs.
The product will be primarily offered via employer benefit programs.
The company founder, Matt Fellowes, is a thought leader related to consumer financial management. In addition, he has written extensively on the "High Cost of Being Poor in America" which describes the higher costs lower income families encounter for all manner of products. Lower income Americans, for example, bear the brunt of $38B of bank overdraft fees annually, pay more for loans and credit cards, and typically place their savings in the wrong types of accounts. Ironically, 70% of people paying bank overdrafts have adequate funds in the same bank that could have prevented the overdraft.
All that said, HelloWallet is a "double bottom line" company that will provide a free subscription to its product to lower income families for every five subscriptions paid by others. While HelloWallet is useful across all strata of income and is a for profit business, it can easily afford to do some good while it does well thanks to software as service approach.
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Regardless of one's financial standing, HelloWallet can provide useful insight into financial alternatives and decisions. With information from thousands of banks and other financial institutions, advice is available on bank accounts, credit cards and other products. All that information is based upon sophisticated analysis that isn't driven by a commission from the financial institution. Americans increasingly understand the importance of financial literacy and the need for transparency in financial markets. HelloWallet is a next generation financial management tool.
HelloWallet helps users track and proactively manage their personal finances. While other personal finance management solutions look backwards by focusing on spending history and trends, HelloWallet also looks forward to proactively uncover savings opportunities and potential threats for its members. Unlike many financial management sites, HelloWallet does not allow banks to advertise or promote products, so its trusted recommendations are not influenced by any business interests. It can be an enabling tool for lower and middle income families to change their financial outlook and situation.
Try it yourself, for free, at HelloWallet
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Here is a recent video of San Francisco's Mayor, Gavin Newsome, announcing the City's support of HelloWallet for its employees.