PRESS RELEASE – CAMBRIDGE, MA and AUSTIN, TX – May 16, 2018
Vestigo Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on transformative fintech investments, announced today that it led a $3.5 million Seed Series Prime financing round for Student Loan Genius (SLG), an employee benefits platform that positions companies to recruit and retain top talent by enabling them to repay employee student loan debt. CMFG Ventures, Prudential Financial and Rubicon Venture Capital also participated in the round.
The funds raised will be used by SLG to support commercialization of its offering as well as to grow its technology, sales and marketing teams.
“SLG is driving innovation in employee benefits that hasn’t been seen since the emergence of the 401K decades ago. With 70 percent of the emerging workforce saddled with student loans, it is incumbent on employers to empower the current and future workforce generations to succeed in the market, unencumbered by the high cost and burden of debt,” said Michael Nugent, Managing Director, Vestigo Ventures. “SLG fits within Vestigo’s mission to finance fintech companies focused on worksite management. We are especially impressed with the management team and its actionable go-to-market strategy to bring SLG’s products and services to major companies nationwide.”
In 2017 there were 44 million Americans with $1.4 trillion in student loan debt and that number is expected to rise to 75 million employees and $3 trillion by 2027. SLG enables HR teams to recruit and retain the best talent by offering a student loan repayment benefit. Today major companies like New York Life, Ralph Lauren and Mastercard offer SLG to differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace.
“In an environment made up of the most educated workforce to-date with the current high employment rate, organizations are becoming keenly aware of the difficulty retaining their best people,” said Matt Beecher, CEO of Student Loan Genius. “This new funding validates Student Loan Genius’ mission and efforts to enable companies to retain their top talent in an increasingly competitive workforce through unique benefits, like student loan payments, that meet their employee’s needs.”
Vestigo Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts that invests in financial technology (fintech) companies. The Firm was founded by David Blundin, founder and chairman of Cogo Labs, Mark Casady, former CEO and chairman of LPL Financial, and Managing Directors Ian Sheridan and Mike Nugent. Vestigo has identified four areas of concentration: market structure, operations solutions, worksite management and personal wealth. Learn more at www.vestigoventures.com.
Vault, formerly known as Student Loan Genius, is an employee benefits platform that gives employers a cutting-edge in attracting and retaining top talent by offering financial management tools, unbiased advice and employer contributions. Companies of all sizes, including New York Life, Ralph Lauren, Mastercard, and Pinterest offer Vault benefits to differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace. Vault is on a mission to help companies keep their best people.
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Your story is our story. We know the real effect of student loans.
When you say “student loans,” most people sigh; and if you watch really closely you can see their eyes lose a little light. Why? Most of us don’t like to think about them.
We know our student loans exist. Most of us pay them. Some of us don’t. Our reality was, and for some still is, that we have no idea when the pain will end. We’ve accepted it as the price that must be paid to get to our “someday.”
For those of us who weren’t fortunate to graduate debt free, student loans are price we paid, not for graduation, but for the life we hope to have.
“I have student loans, but some day I will make enough to get the car I want.”
“I have student loans, but some day I’ll be able to afford the house I want.”
“I have student loans, but some day I’ll take that vacation I’ve been dreaming of.”
“I have student loans, but some day want to start a family.”
This necessary evil seems to run our lives in the short term and the hope is that our expensive education one day pays off big, and, until then we spend our lives trying to minimize the effects.
If you’re like me, and many others, you’ve made a science of avoiding student loan repayment. Some commit to being a lifetime student. Some defer, forbear, or just stop paying altogether. Some luck up and find employers, localities, or forgiveness programs that have saved the day. The fact, however, is that most of us can’t even think of what life will be like when the invisible car note or house payment we call education loans disappears.
But, what if our loans weren’t a fact. What if you could finally get the things that are important to you? What if the new car were suddenly in reach? What if you had the money to start a family? What if you could afford to take your dream job, in your dream city?
These what ifs may seem far fetched, but we think they aren’t really that far away. You just need a little help. Your what-ifs and some days are the reason we, at Student Loan Genius, are tackling student loan debt head on.
Month’s ago when I met Tony, Josh, and Emiliano, the co-founders of Student Loan Genius, I had no idea that I’d be penning this first post. What I did know is that these guys were tackling a problem I’d seen cripple, financially, some of the smartest people I know.
I have friends who had to move back in with their parents because they couldn’t afford to live and make their student loan payments. I know few people who couldn’t take jobs in the field they studied, because they couldn’t afford their passion and their rent. Too many times, I’ve heard and read stories of people who ended up living in a car or in terrible credit trouble, because they decided to go to school and that decision keeps coming back to bite them. It bites some so hard that they are stressed, overwhelmed, and living so far from the life they want, they don’t even think financial independence is possible.
That’s why we’re doing this. That’s what’s behind Student Loan Genius. We aren’t a large crew that started out to make millions. We aren’t here because it’s the newest, hottest, or easiest thing (frankly, this is one of the hardest things most of us have ever taken on).
We’re here because we want to solve an “invisible” problem that affects real people, families, and companies.
What’s behind this benefit and this company is the passion to help employers and professionals create real financial freedom and lives they’ve been dreaming about.
That’s why we’re here; because you need us, and honestly, we need us. So, thanks for reading the first of many posts to come, spreading the “Genius” that is helping employers and professionals get to the next stage of business and life.
Chief Storyteller, Student Loan Genius
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