Exclusive - It’s challenging to make personal financial management sound like something that’s fun to do, but that’s exactly what Payoff.com is shooting for. The company, started in 2009, wants to help people achieve certain goals (like saving for a trip, or paying off credit card debt) using a platform that blends ‘serious’ personal finance management tools with ‘fun and rewarding’ game dynamics.
Payoff.com will announce later today that they’ve raised $2 million in funding in a round led by Anthemis Group, Firstmark Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, with several unnamed “individual investors from Wall Street” participating. The startup has now raised $5.8 million in total.
Here’s how Scott Saunders, CEO and founder of Payoff.com, pitches the service:
“Payoff enhances people’s intrinsic motivation to achieve financial goals through rewards and by illustrating the connection between short-‐term financial behaviors and long-‐term goals. We want to help more people sleep better with funded savings and lighter debt loads.”
Users start by setting goals and dreams, which helps Payoff.com determine motivation. Then, they can link their financial accounts to track their saving or debt payoff progress, and keep a close eye on what they’re spending, relying on positive enforcement to take additional steps.
As users progress, they can earn – you guessed it – badges and even cash prizes from Payoff.com or a sponsor. The site also offers tools and blog posts to help users with their financial situations, and encourages people to share their achievements with friends and family using social networking services.
Payoff has changed the game of personal finance by making money simple, social, and fun. While today’s personal finance industry centers around “money management,” Payoff is focused on tomorrow’s industry for “money motivation.” Through rewards and the motivational power of game dynamics, Payoff engages its community at an emotional level, empowering Americans to take control of their financial destinies and be a part of a community of people committed to each other’s success. Payoff helps its members...