Financial rewards startup SaveUp launched a financial rewards program last year that essentially “gamifies” user savings and paying down debt. It provides a series of rewards as a carrot to get users on the right track with their finances, making the otherwise dull and sometimes scary work of tracking finances fun and interactive. With that goal, the company is raising an additional $5 million, in a round of financing that it hopes will help it change the way users interact with their finances.
According to an SEC filing, SaveUp has closed on $4 million of the $5 million round. Existing investors Blue Run Ventures and True Ventures participated in the round, but CEO Priya Haji tells me the round also includes money from a couple of strategic investors, who aren’t yet disclosed. They include a multinational bank, as well as a distribution company in the financial services industry. For that final $1 million, which Haji says should close soon, SaveUp is also seeking investment from some prominent angels.
While there are already data visualization services out there like Mint, SaveUp tries to differentiate itself by not just showing users what their financial situation is like, but also helping them to dig out of debt and to improve their savings. So far, the rewards program has proven incredibly successful with both keeping users engaged and improving their finances. SaveUp is seeing unprecedented user engagement for a financial services platform: 20 percent of its user base is active daily; with 45 percent tuning in weekly, and 68 percent signing in at least once a month.
Haji says that SaveUp users have more than half-a-billion dollars in debt registered in the system. That includes $317 million in mortgage debt, $45 million in credit card debt, and $148 million in loan debt. But in just the short time since launch, it’s helped users pay down $74 million in debt. It’s also helped users bolster their savings, to the tune of $93 million.
With the new funding, SaveUp hopes to increase distribution of its product, which should be helped by its yet-unnamed strategic investors. It’s also looking to get on new platforms, with mobile being a big target. Haji recognizes that mobile phones could prove powerful tools for increasing engagement and further improving users’ finances.
SaveUp had previously raised $2 million from Blue Run Ventures and True, with BlueRun’s Jonathan Ebinger and True Ventures’ Christiaan Vorkink on its board. It currently has 7 employees, and is based in San Francisco.
SaveUp is the first free rewards program for saving money and reducing debt. Users earn SaveUp credits for every dollar saved or debt reduced and can use these credits to play for prizes ranging from travel, cars to even a $2M jackpot. While using SaveUp users are provided financial education, suggestions to improve their financial circumstances and better financial services. SaveUp can be used with 18,000 financial institutions in the US including rewards for savings accounts,...