Human Interest: Improving America’s Access to 401(k) Plans — Announcing a $15.4 Million Series B

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A new milestone

There’s excitement today at Human Interest HQ as we announce a new round of funding! We’ve closed on our Series B so that we can better serve America’s small and medium-sized businesses, helping them provide modern 401(k) plans to their employees. In this round, we are grateful to be partnering with U.S. Venture Partners, and have continued participation from investors at Wing VC, Uncork Capital, and Slow Ventures.

From helping 35,000 to helping millions

We’ve grown a lot since our company’s founding at Y Combinator by Roger Lee and Paul Sawaya. Today, we are proud to serve as the 401(k) provider for more than 35,000 people across the country. With this new investment, we’ll be focused on expanding to help millions of working Americans reach a financially secure retirement. Our customers are benefitting from access to retirement savings plans that work: 70% of eligible employees participate, up to 93% for customers that offer automatic enrollment and an employer match.

We’re called Human Interest because we’re human-centered…

At Human Interest, we like that we stand out from our industry. We take pride in operating as a fiduciary and putting customers’ best interests first and, unlike other 401(k) providers, we don’t take kickbacks from any investments we recommend. We see that our product is helping people invest in their financial future—many who weren’t saving for retirement but now, through our 401(k) and 403(b) plans, are saving for retirement for the first time.

…and we want to work with other businesses who are, too

Increasingly, America’s business leaders are seeking to make meaningful investments in their employees. We hear from human-centered employers across the country that they are looking for benefits that can help their employees, especially on topics related to developing long-term financial wellness. And, again and again, we hear from employees that financial security in retirement is top of mind for them:

It’s time to retire the old way of saving for retirement

Survey after survey points out that most Americans are falling short when it comes to saving for retirement. Often, it’s because they’ve had to face problems stemming from the industry, including high, predatory fees, confusing language, and plans that don’t put customers’ best interests first (just look at the lawsuits involving several traditional 401(k) providers). For many others, they’re not saving for retirement because they don’t have access to a retirement savings plan through their employer. We aim to change this. Helping working Americans, regardless of the size of their employer, access retirement benefits is core to our mission and our founding. Human Interest was co-founded by Roger and Paul after Roger realized how hard it was to set up a 401(k) for his employees at a previous startup.

Helping Americans save for retirement, especially employees at small and medium-sized businesses

Our aim is simple: help 40 million Americans access a way to save for retirement. While we’re not there today, we know that 40 million Americans – roughly one-third of workers in the private sector – do not have access to a 401(k), especially those at small and medium-sized businesses. One of our investors (and new board member) Mark Goines, Vice Chairman of Personal Capital agrees: “Since 401(k) plans became popular in the 1980s, they have predominantly benefited employees at larger companies. Small employers are now, more than ever, including retirement plans as a part of their core benefits.” Roger describes the momentum that’s been building: “We’ve been encouraged by the range of customers across the country that have flocked to Human Interest, from small businesses that have never before offered a retirement savings plan, to medium-sized companies looking to switch from an expensive, traditional 401(k) provider.”

Even more momentum

But we can’t do that alone, we need you! We’re grateful to our community of customers who, through their support and feedback, continue to help us refine our product. We look forward to growing the work we do with partners (like the 200+ leading payroll providers that we’ve already partnered with) such as benefits brokers, financial advisors, and technology partners. And, given our current trajectory, we look forward to adding people to our quickly growing team. We’re always looking for talented people to join us, and we’d love to hear from others who are also interested in helping to make it easier for people to save for retirement.

Jeff Schneble is the CEO of Human Interest. He first joined Human Interest as a Board Member, and led the company’s Series A in 2017.

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The content in this blog post has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Human Interest's investment advisory services are provided by Human Interest Advisors, LLC, an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser. Investing involves risk and may result in loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, and expected returns may not reflect actual future performance.