Northstar, the financial wellness benefit for employees, today announced it has raised $24.4 million in new funding led by GGV Capital and joined by new investors PayPal Ventures, Thomson Reuters Ventures, and Canvas Ventures. Existing investors M13, Workday Ventures, Parade Ventures, Foundation Capital, Designer Fund, and RRE also participated, bringing Northstar's total funding to $40 million.
Northstar’s financial wellness program guides employees through different financial and life situations, and helps companies support their teams at scale through onboarding, open enrollment, equity events, and more. The additional capital will enable the company to expand its products and global reach to further Northstar’s mission of bringing financial wellness to the 100%. Employees in 18 countries can now work with Northstar, and the company has plans to expand to 30+ countries by the end of 2023.
Establishing and maintaining financial stability has become increasingly challenging in today’s economic environment, accentuated by record-high inflation and job market volatility. Today, 42% of high earners making more than $100,000 a year and 70% of the millennial generation are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Financial guidance has become a foundational need for Americans, but the traditional model for receiving financial advice typically requires individuals to choose between quality and cost. Northstar eliminates this compromise by redefining financial wellness and delivering it at scale through employers, the primary source of most wealth creation.
“Financial wellbeing is a universal challenge, and today we face a dizzying array of complex decisions and tradeoffs, from understanding debt paydown strategies to making retirement contributions,” said Will Peng, CEO and Co-Founder of Northstar. “By working with employers, we are able to solve a problem for both the employee and the employer, as work is the decision point for so many financial and life choices. Northstar is bringing different types of advice under one roof: financial, benefits, equity, salary.”
Northstar has developed a new set of advisory tools to support individuals in today’s financial environment. Rather than using the common call center model, Northstar employs full-time, in-house financial advisors (CFP®) and matches each employee 1-on-1 with a personal Northstar Advisor, who they work with on an ongoing basis. Northstar supports both their financial advisors and employees with tech, through a proprietary suite of personal finance and total compensation tools. Northstar employee members report an 83% average improvement in financial stress after meeting with their personal Northstar financial advisor (Northstar member survey, 2022).
“Financial advice as a service has been around for many years, yet many consumers do not have access to financial advisors, creating a huge market,” said Hans Tung, managing director at GGV Capital and Northstar board member. “We at GGV share Northstar’s vision that financial wellness should be universal for all employees. It is the next highly sought after employee benefit after mental health. Will has built an incredible team to take on this game-changing opportunity.”
Innovative employers such as Snap, Zoom, 23andMe, Virgin Orbit, and NerdWallet partner with Northstar to communicate the value of their total rewards and help employees take action on their compensation to support their life goals. Employees are making strong use of the benefit, as Northstar’s average enrollment rate is 50%, which compares to 15-30% averages cited by competitors and their former employer clients. Northstar is proud to have 100% retention of every employer customer that has offered the benefit to its company.