Financial health startup Brightside raises $4 million to improve employees’ financial wellness
Financial stress is a leading cause of lost productivity in the workplace according to a recent employee financial wellness survey conducted by PWC. One San Francisco, California-based startup is aiming to help employers improve the financial wellness of their employees. The startup is called BrightSide. It is the first employer-based financial wellness solution that uniquely combines personal assistants, smart technology and innovative products to relieve employee stress and its impact on the workforce.
Today, Brightside announced it has secured $4M in seed funding from Comcast Ventures and Trinity Ventures. The announcement was made at the launch of its employee financial health platform at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas. Additionally, the company also announced the appointment of its CEO, Tom Spann, founding CEO and co-founder of Accolade; and its charter customer, Comcast Corporation.
Founded in 2017, Brightside delivers improved outcomes for employees through its financial assistants, who engage employees, establish trust, and provide tailored support, as well as unbiased access to financial products that save them money. Their mission is to improve nation’s financial health one conversation at a time.
PWC survey is not the only survey that links lost productivity with employees’ financial stress, another report by the Federal Reserve Board indicates that if faced with an unexpected $400 emergency expense, 44 percent of adults either could not immediately pay it or would need to borrow or sell something to cover the cost.2 When further complicated by growing student loan debt and by using 401(k) loans to cover expenses, the road to financial wellness becomes challenging for many.
“For years, companies have focused on the physical and emotional health of employees, offering a myriad of solutions, without nearly as much emphasis on their financial well-being,” said Shawn Leavitt, senior vice president of Total Rewards at Comcast. “Now, we as employers are recognizing the impact financial health has on our workforce. Brightside helps our employees better navigate and manage their financial well-being, and also gives us a competitive advantage by enhancing the portfolio of benefits we offer and making our benefits package more meaningful to people’s everyday lives.”
As a trusted partner, Brightside supports each employee’s unique financial situation with a mobile app and financial assistants, both backed by a proprietary financial methodology, modern behavioral science, and easy access to the best financial product options curated personally to save them money. For example, Brightside helped one employee save $3,000 in credit card interest payments, reduced the time to be debt-free by two years and improved their credit score in the process.
“Employers now have a simple solution for the huge costs of reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and serious health issues that arise from financial stress. It is well established that financial stress makes us less healthy, less intelligent and lonelier,” said Tom Spann, CEO of Brightside. “We’re building Brightside for employers who are focused on helping their employees make better financial decisions.”
The Brightside founding team includes executives Callum King from Comcast Ventures, Christine Tozzi from Willis Towers Watson, Jacky Chiu from LifeLock, and Petrina Thompson, from American Express. Brightside draws upon the expertise of industry veterans who are on the company’s board of directors, including Michael Yang, managing director of Comcast Ventures, and Schwark Satyavolu, general partner of Trinity Ventures.