"Plantly Is An Investment Tool That Aims Not To Suck"

That quote in the title is completely from Plantly, not from me. Today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, the company won the audience award to get on the stage and give their pitch.

Title aside, Planty is a risk-aware investment tool. They use a lot of advanced tools to show users exactly what will happen to their investments based on various scenarios. “We want you to touch this to get a feel for what will happen to your money,” is the way they put it.

They are not a broker, this is just a tool. If you have a broker, you can put their fees in the tool to add those into the system as well. The whole idea is to put a plan in place — it’s not about rushing to invest.

The business model mainly resides in the follow-up services. For example, you can use other tools to see how your investment is actually doing versus how you thought it would do. They also charge $10 for access to the system — but that’s just a one-time fee.

But again, the key to all of this is the design and simplicity of the service. Plantly wants to make what’s going to happen to your money obvious. They don’t care if you invest or not — they just hope that by showing you this info, that if you do choose to invest, you’ll use some of their more advanced (paid) tools.

———-Q&A With The Judges—————-

Jason Calacanis, CEO & Founder, Mahalo
Brad Garlinghouse, President, Consumer Applications Group, AOL
Tolman Geffs, Co-President, JEGI
Megumi Ikeda, SVP, Peacock Equity Fund
Shervin Pishevar, Founder & Chairman, SGN

Q: This is great. It’s like the good things about Mint. You expressed it well.

Q: It was a very nice product. Very easy to use. Who is your competition in this market.

A: We’re learning about more and more of them — like Betterment, which launched here yesterday. But we’re not brokers, they are. We’re about our interface design.

Q: Is this only ETFs?

A: Yes, only ETF.

Q: How it’s different from something like MorningStar.

A: The information is different and we’re heavily involved in the plan for the future. The information in advance is important. MorningStar has too much information. This is about just the right amount of information. Smart decisions are the key.

Q: I think these are the two best product guys we’ve seen all day. At the end of the day it’s clear what your proposition is. I love the product.

Q: You guys didn’t earn your way onto stage — but you were the best presentation of the whole group. You guys were elegant with how you think about the space. Where are you guys from?

A: Originally from Israel. Now in Brooklyn.

Q: What’s your qualification in the financial space.

A: No, it’s all from my MBA and working at Proctor & Gamble.

Q: This is about protecting people and protecting their money.

——– The Monetization Plan —————–

They’re still in beta so they’re figuring out the monetization strategy. They’re thinking about some 40% of investors in the longtail. $10 is cheap enough for people to get into this, they think. Again, the idea isn’t to push people to invest, but if they do, give them more tools.

“Affiliating through need is the wrong thing for our customers,”

—————– Second Q & A —————

Q: How will you acquire customers?

A: Again, around 40% of people first go to friends and family. And being here is a good start.

Q: What wealth level are you talking about?

A: $5,000 for a single investment. For the middle class small investors.

Q: So you should go to Walmart or get people through 401k.

Q: Protecting wealth is a great message, you could do all sorts of things — make videos.

Q: Plantly in some ways reminds me of a social game. Maybe as you’re managing it, a plant grows. The leaves represent your financial life.

A: Thank you, we are having discussions about game mechanics.

Q: You guys are brand-able too. Make videos!