Women-owned startup Ellevest raises $33 million from Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures, PayPal, others to help women achieve their financial goals
Ellevest, the digital investment platform built by women, for women, has closed a $33 million funding round to help women achieve their financial goals. The fresh round was led by Rethink Impact and PSP Growth. New investors include Pivotal Ventures, the investment and incubation company founded by Melinda Gates (the wife of Bill Gates); PayPal; Elaine Wynn, co-founder of Wynn Resorts; Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Google and Alphabet; Valerie Jarrett (Senior advisor to President Barack Obama); and returning investors.
Ellevest was founded in 2014 by Charlie Kroll and Sallie Krawcheck with a mission to close the gender-investing gap. Ellevest helps women achieve their financial goals through modern, low-cost investing, with a beautifully designed digital platform backed by a unique investing approach. From a gender-smart investing algorithm for digital-only customers to bespoke portfolios for private wealth clients, Ellevest also provides the option to invest for impact and in other women.
“Today, we bring in a group of rock star investors deeply aligned with our mission. And it’s no coincidence that many of them are unparalleled changemakers and advocates for women who understand that being under-invested can cost women a fortune over their lives,” said Sallie Krawcheck, Ellevest’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “And it can be life-changing money. Retire-like-an-Instagram-influencer money. Get-your-hand-off-my-leg money.”
“When the status quo isn’t meeting women’s needs, it deserves to be disrupted, and that’s what this platform created by women for women aims to do,” said Melinda Gates, investor. “Women’s lives and realities are different than men’s, and I think we’ll see more and more of a demand for products designed to reflect that. This is an important market opportunity that Ellevest is well-positioned to tap into.”
The funding comes on the heels of fast growth in several new product areas, including Ellevest Private Wealth Management, designed for high net worth clients — which hit the milestone of $100 million in assets under management — and Ellevest’s unique Premium service, which gives women access to a team of Executive Coaches and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ pros so they can take their career and money goals to the next level. Taken together, Ellevest’s services can now serve women and their allies across their stages of life through a combination of technology and personal service.
It’s been a pretty good couple of weeks for women-led companies bringing the thunder: Glossier and Rent the Runway became “unicorn” companies valued at more than $1 billion after new rounds of funding. It’s also been a decent year: The Wing, ThirdLove, Billie, and Landit all announced funding rounds in the past three months. All of these companies have something in common with Ellevest: They came into being because the status quo didn’t fit women’s lives.
Jenny Abramson, founder and managing partner of Rethink Impact, says, “Since we invested in Ellevest’s last round nearly two years ago, Sallie and her team have achieved exponential growth and helped countless women to take hold of their financial futures. We’re thrilled to co-lead this round, and look forward to continuing to partner with the company and its stellar community of investors.”
“I’m so pleased to support Ellevest as it leads the way to help women become financially stronger and meet their money goals,” said Valerie Jarrett, co-chair of the United State of Women. “When women are stronger financially, that means a stronger economy and a stronger society. We need this change right now.”
Ellevest will use the capital to accelerate its growth — including investing in its technology, expanding into new product categories, and working with women to develop new, non-boring financial education.
The company will also double down on building its community. With so many women not talking about money — to the point that they’d rather talk about anything else — the company is unique among financial services companies for the community that it’s built over the two years since it launched.
“Ensuring that all women have robust financial tools to improve financial health and seize more opportunities is a societal imperative,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal. “We are proud to support Sallie and her team at Ellevest who are helping to level the playing field by pioneering investment solutions tailored to women. The growth in Ellevest demonstrates that, even in a crowded market, there is always opportunity for customer-focused solutions to win.”