This startup is transforming the $1.6 trillion student loan debt by making it easier for employers to offer student loan assistance as an employee benefit
The US student loan debt is currently $1.6 trillion and counting. One startup is on a mission to change the trajectory. Enter Goodly, a fintech startup that lets any employer offer student loan assistance to employees easily and affordably.
Today, Goodly announced it has raised a $1.3 million seed funding round to transform and make student loan assistance as an employee benefit. The investment was led by Norwest Venture Partners. Other backers include the renown venture capital firm, Y Combinator, Ace & Company, Zeno Ventures and several prominent angel investors.
Founded in San Francisco by Gregory Poulin and Hemant Verma, and launched at Y Combinator in 2018, Goodly help employers recruit and retain employees by easing the burden of student loan debt for the 45 million Americans that collectively carry $1.6 trillion in student debt.
“Goodly came from my own personal experience with student loans. After my father passed away unexpectedly, I had to borrow $80k to pay for my education at Dartmouth College,” said Gregory Poulin, Co-founder and CEO. “For many employers, offering student loan assistance is a no brainer. We’re witnessing the hottest job market in a generation. One key to improving employee retention is to provide meaningful benefits, not just fun perks. With 70 percent of employees graduating with significant student debt, it’s not surprising that job seekers are attracted to employers that offer help with their student loans.”
Goodly’s platform is the first to allow employers to make monthly payments, integrated with their payroll, directly to employees’ student debt. The turnkey platform lets employers make regular contributions towards paying down employees’ student loans, while allowing employees to automate their regular payments and access expert student loan counseling through Goodly’s student loan wellness platform. Goodly’s platform gives users all of the resources they need to manage their student loans from one dashboard.
“Goodly’s mission is to help employers recruit and retain employees by offering practical employee benefits,” said Hemant Verma, Co-founder and CTO. “Data shows that a majority of millennial employees would trade everything from PTO, 401k match, and even health insurance to have student loan benefits. Student loan benefits can be a deciding factor for job seekers to accept an offer of employment, and a way for employers to attract top-performing talent by offering to support their financial future.”
Poulin and Verma bring deep domain expertise in building and scaling human resources and employee benefits software to Goodly from their experience as early employees of the human resources startup Rippling.
“As attracting and retaining the best talent at companies becomes increasingly difficult, we see our portfolio companies using creative ways to stay competitive,” said Jeff Crowe, managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners. “Millennials highly value student loan repayment benefits when choosing employers, and we think Goodly is best positioned to become the go-to platform for offering this benefit.”
Studies repeatedly show that student loan repayment assistance is one of the most desired employee benefits and is essential to attracting top talent. But, many employers hold off on offering this benefit because they don’t know where to start, or are worried about the administrative workload it would add. Goodly’s platform syncs with payroll and HR systems to automate student loan benefits, streamlining the process for employers.