By Daniel Lanyon on Tuesday 12 July 2022
Uprise is a new app designed to help Gen Z with their money and has raised $1.4m in its seed round.
Uprise, a new fintech app that wants to help Gen Z manage their money in the manner of a digital ‘family office’ has launched after a $1.4m seed funding round.
Founded by Jessica Chen Riolfi, its CEO, and Chris Goodmacher in 2021 the fintech app has launched in the US with a 7,000-strong waiting list. It will be available in the US initially with plans to launch abroad in the coming years.
The idea behind Uprise is to help ‘Gen Z’, the demographic cohort succeeding ‘Millennials’ to optimise their financial lives - including building credit, pensions as well employer benefits through largely automated processes after connecting using open banking to users’ accounts.
With a market flooded by different and competing fintech apps, Uprise wants to offer an unbiased view to which neobank or credit card or savings account to go for.
“There are so many fintechs out there, and for Gen Z in particular, there's a tonne of different types of financial products, trying to make a grab at their money.
Everybody wants your direct deposits, everybody wants, your cash. How do you make sense of that?” she said.
The alternatives for this in the market Chen says are researching online, reading personal finance books or scrolling through YouTube or Tiktok, which come with both a time cost and a lack of transparency.
“We personalise and tailor it so that you don't have to wade through the mess of content that's out there and say, ‘this is exactly what I should do,” she said.
While the central product is to provide a digital family office-like service, accounts are also reviewed by a human expert.
“We are democratising access to private family offices. This is, what I mean by this is that, basically, there's somebody in the long term, there's somebody like keeping an eye out optimising all of your finances, so that you can sleep better at night,” Chen Riolfi told AltFi.
“We deliver a hyper-personalised financial plan that is 90 per cent automated but we always keep a human in the loop to make sure that the recommendations are spot on, and to also build trust,” she added.
An example might be nudging users to up pension contributions from 2.2 per cent of a user’s salary to 3.4 per cent.
“The coolest thing we've been able to do so far in our private data is we found $1.5m on average to add to each customer's lifetime net worth with just a few small tweaks to their finances,” she added.
Chen says that longer-term, apart from expansion to new geographies including the UK/Europe, Uprise is currently working on regulatory permissions to allow it to give financial advice. However, it has no plans to move into actually being the custodian of assets and following the typical ‘robo adviser’ route.
“We want to be that layer that's on top of all the various financial products out there to help you like make sense of which robo advisor should be used or which banks should you use and to help you make those decisions,” she said.
The financial plans, she says, will be free but a potential subscription model will likely follow offering more direct customer support. In addition to a premium subscription, Uprise will monetise through commissions on financial products.
“We have not turned this on yet but the key thing before we do is to make sure that the side of the house that does any partnership deals with financial institutions is not talking to the side of the house that makes recommendations. The most important thing to us is our customer trust, to make sure that we're completely unbiased when we make the recommendations for them,” she said.