Personal finance app's success proves a tech-focused shift in the financial services industry
ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Nov 8, 2017) - Wela today announces it has passed $1 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR), one of several achievements to mark 2017 as a record year of growth for the personal finance app. In the last two quarters, Wela doubled its total users and amount of linked accounts. Additionally, Wela Strategies, an extension of the app that manages investment accounts, passed $135 million in assets under management. Wela's growth is evidence of a demand among millennials and young families for a personal finance solution that delivers advice in the way they want to receive it -- through the convenience of an app that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI), through the skill provided by a human advisor, or a combination of the two offerings.
In 2017, Wela's staff doubled in size, adding key management roles, including a chief technical officer, product manager and user experience manager. In an effort to better serve its rapidly growing user base, Wela plans to hire additional support for its customer experience, financial advisory and development teams in the next few months.
"Passing $1 million in ARR is just the beginning of our accomplishments for the year. In 2017, we successfully developed the first-to-market AI-powered chatbot in financial services, Benjamin. Launching Benjamin allowed Wela to provide more personalized and engaging financial guidance to people, regardless of age, income, family size or financial goals," said Matt Reiner, CEO and co-founder of Wela. "Benjamin's development, coupled with a passionate, dedicated team that believes in our mission to change the way financial advice is delivered, ultimately lead to a stellar year of growth."
The first true digital advisor, Benjamin utilizes AI to track users' daily, weekly and monthly spending habits and provides personalized advice based on their financial needs and goals. After examining income, financial goals and necessary living expenses, Benjamin aggregates a "Daily Spend Limit" for users. Benjamin then compares that number to actual daily spending and other transactions to help users understand how they are progressing toward their goals. Unlike other free consumer finance apps on the market, Wela pairs these capabilities with access to real, human financial advisors via phone, video chat or in person.
Beyond Wela's innovative blend of AI technology with human advisors, its record year of growth can also be attributed to a shift in the financial services industry toward technology-based advisory services. The implementation of financial apps, coupled with robo-advising, has introduced the world of financial services to people who previously lacked access to financial advisors and the tools needed to easily manage their budgets and investments.
"By creating positive spending behaviors through our Daily Spend Limit concept and filling the need for personalized investment advice with both robo and human advisors, Wela is changing the way financial advice is delivered to put the power of financial success in everyone's hands," said Reiner.
Wela used the success it experienced this year to drive efforts to give back to the local community. Wela sponsors Atlanta-based WonderRoot, an arts organization that uses creative initiatives to improve the cultural and social landscape of the local region, and partners with ATL Tech Gives Back, an organization that harnesses the power of Atlanta's passionate technology community for the greater good. In addition, following Hurricane Harvey, Wela spearheaded a nonprofit initiative, TechSupports, to raise $6,500 and deliver more than 1,200 canned good items to areas affected by the recent storms.
Uproar PR for Wela