SAN FRANCISCO, CA — October 10, 2013 — Level, the mobile-first financial services company, today unveiled its first product: Level Money, a free app built with Millennials in mind that turns an iPhone into a real-time money meter. The company is creating the next generation of financial services, built around mobile devices, by ensuring today’s mobile consumers have their needed financial information available in real-time at their fingertips.
“Our generation doesn’t think about money the way our parents do,” said Level CEO and Co-Founder Jake Fuentes. “We need a totally new approach to finance that’s mobile-first, radically simple, and completely effortless. Budgeting is dead, and that’s why we’ve taken the ‘quantified self’ approach; instead of applying the technology to personal fitness, we’re applying it to personal finance.”
Level Money, available today for the first time in the Apple App Store, provides a live snapshot of a user’s spendable income for that day, week, and month. Level Money eliminates the need to use antiquated budgets and spreadsheets, or to categorize purchases into buckets like “groceries” or “entertainment.” Instead, the tool performs an automatic analysis to calculate a user’s total income, recurring bills and recommended savings each month; it then tracks a simple “spendable” balance, broken down by day, week and month. Every time users complete a transaction – such as grabbing coffee or picking up groceries – the app automatically updates their remaining cash available for that day.
In a world where most of our money is represented digitally rather than as physical cash, Level Money provides the mobile equivalent of opening up your wallet to see how much money is available. Key benefits include:
Real-time money meter: Level Money automatically updates spendable cash as you make purchases each day, week and month and provides a simple, real-time picture of how we’re doing in order to stay in the black.
No budgets required: We want to know where we stand with our money, and finally we can find out without having to build a budget or spreadsheet. There’s no need to manually categorize transactions or do mental math.
Confidence that fits in our pockets: Achieving big financial goals starts with the little choices. Understanding daily cash flow allows us to visualize larger goals: any money not spent rolls over and can be used to make bigger purchases later.
Built on a foundation of security: Level is designed with bank-level security and encryption and high privacy standards. The company has partnered with Intuit to help manage sensitive data. Intuit provides Level Money members a trusted security and technology platform already used by millions of people.
The company is also announcing the initial closing of a $5 million Series A funding round, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KCPB) and including former Citigroup Chairman and CEO Sandy Weill, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and former Barclays Global Investors CEO Blake Grossman. Hundt and KPCB partner Chi-Hua Chien have joined the Level Board of Directors. Megan Quinn from KPCB has joined Level as a Board Observer.
“Gen Y faces many very real financial challenges, and they are confronting these challenges far earlier than before,” said Frank Yeary, Level Chairman and Co-founder. “Today two-thirds of college graduates owe an average of more than $25,000 in student loans , and un- and underemployment rates for young adults remain way too high. In that environment, everyday financial choices are more important than ever. Level’s ambition is to become the next generation financial services company, and that starts with empowering members to manage their daily decisions in a superior way.”
The Level team is led by Jake Fuentes, Co-Founder and CEO, who previously served as Chief of Staff for the global Emerging Products division at Visa. Frank Yeary, Level Chairman and Co-founder, previously served as Vice Chancellor of UC Berkeley and spent nearly twenty-five years in the financial services industry. Dave Fayram, Level VP of Engineering, is the former Lead Engineer for Simple and former Systems Engineer at groundbreaker Powerset, and Level VP of Design Robert Suarez is former Lead of Consumer Experience Design at legendary IDEO.