Goalsetter raises $15 million to go B2B with children’s financial literacy app
Goalsetter, a financial education platform for kiddos, has announced the close of a $15 million Series A financing round. The funding was led by Seae Ventures, with participation from Fiserv, Mass Mutual, Citizens Financial Group, Astia Fund, NBA stars Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, and actors Anthony Anderson and Lance Gross.
The startup was founded by Tanya Van Court who had her own struggles with financial literacy after losing more than $1 million in stock during the bubble burst of 2001. After having children, and working for Nickelodeon, Discovery Education and ESPN, she realized there was a huge gap in the market when it comes to how we talk to kids about money.
The startup’s app allows kids to get allowance or monetary gifts from friends, parents, and relatives, or spend money through a Goalsetter debit card. However, what makes Goalsetter different is that kids can only ‘unlock’ those funds by taking fun financial literacy quizzes, with the difficulty of questions tailored to the kid’s age. The platform even recently introduced a feature called Goalsetter Invest, which allows users to buy and sell stocks.
This Series A financing is important in that it marks the company’s entrance into the B2B market. Thus far, Goalsetter has been focused on attracting parents and their kids to the app through the traditional B2C channels and word of mouth.
With Fiserv on the cap table, Goalsetter has forged a partnership with the skeletal system of finance to sell a white labeled version of Goalsetter to other financial institutions like banks.
The idea here is that traditional banks may very well fall behind their newer competitors like the smart card services and neobanks. Goalsetter can provide the platform, fully baked, that can help families set up a first savings account, investment account, and help with financial education for their kids.
Van Court explained that the decision to move into B2B literally came to her in the middle of the night. She sat up board straight and realized she’d ‘seen this movie before.’
She described how the cable industry was weakened by the younger generation who left their parents house and decided all they needed was the streaming services they were used to, and weren’t interested in paying a $200 cable bill. She realized the same would happen with fintech, where kids would sign up with a neobank or a new debit card and stay with it for their whole lives.
“I was just like, ‘wow, these kids growing up in this new fintech world are never going back to the big banks’,” she said. “The only way the big banks are not going to be disintermediated is if they white label a product like Goalsetter that has a super high NPS that reaches every age kid out there. It reaches the entire family and they get to them before everyone else gets to them.”
You ever wonder why Coca-Cola uses animated polar bears in their advertisements? Same reason. Get ’em while they’re young.
Alongside partnering with Fiserv and, hopefully for Goalsetter, the financial institutions that Fiserv powers, the platform is also looking to partner with large employers to offer Goalsetter as a benefit to employees.
Van Court has talked with TechCrunch numerous times about the challenges she has faced as a Black female founder, watching competitors led by white men get funded more and more often than her. (You can catch this episode of the Found podcast to hear more on that.)
“We needed to find our own lane, and a lane that we could own, and a lane that we could own quickly,” she said, explaining the decision to start working with banks.
“Banking is in trouble if they don’t have their own kids fintech product,” she went on. “I can either go it alone and fight against this wave of people who are getting funded more than I’m going to get funded. Or I can come over here and partner with the banks and financial institutions who really need a great product and can use that product to help them both grow their next generation of customers but continue to be a force in the neighborhoods that they’re a force in.”