True Link Financial, a mission-driven financial technology company, announced today that it has raised a total of $35 million in two Series B tranches, the first led by Khosla Ventures and the second preemptively led by Centana Growth Partners.
Founded in 2012, True Link’s mission is to increase the independence and well-being of vulnerable older adults, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addiction. All of True Link’s customers face risks that undermine their autonomy and turn to True Link to meet needs that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. Its specialized payments and investment product offerings are designed to empower its end users, as well as their loved ones and professional caregivers. The company receives nearly five million customer calls per year with a 97 percent “great” rating for customer support.
“I founded True Link because I saw my grandmother Ruth lose tens of thousands of dollars to financial abuse and fraud. At True Link, we are helping make spending and financial decision-making safer,” said True Link CEO and co-founder Kai Stinchcombe. Added co-founder and COO Claire McDonnell, “Amidst a global pandemic that has exposed how financially vulnerable so many people are, our customers need us more than ever before. Both Centana and Khosla are partners who genuinely understand and believe in our purpose and their support will help us realize our vision.”
True Link’s product suite includes:
● True Link’s Payment Cards for Vulnerable Elders: True Link is designed for situations where one individual relies on another person for help managing spending money. For vulnerable older adults, targeted by $36 billion of fraud every year, True Link’s technology can be used to block exploitation related to memory loss (like scam charities, sweepstakes entries, and telemarketing) and allow caregivers to make safe purchases on their behalf. With the spread of COVID-19, they or their caregivers can purchase medicine, food and other essentials over the phone or online to avoid exposure to the virus.
● True Link for People in Recovery: For people in recovery from addiction and their families – 87% of whom believe banks are not doing enough to help people in recovery rebuild their lives,– a customizable payment card can help reduce relapse temptation associated with carrying cash, can enable budgeting, and can block liquor store or gambling purchases that could indicate a relapse. The online payment solution can also provide financial transparency to sober coaches and recovery centers and help rebuild trust with family members.
● Investment Services: True Link’s investment advisory services* are tailored to the needs of people who are depending on a fixed amount of resources for the remainder of their lifetime. Portfolios are designed specifically for decumulation, factoring in the customer’s cash flow needs, age, benefits eligibility, medical spending, and more. True Link’s platform provides a built-in solution to help customers meet the stringent recordkeeping requirements of programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and Section Eight housing.
● Services for People with Disabilities: People with disabilities use True Link’s products in several different ways. For people with a third-party administrator of assets, such as a family member or trustee, True Link provides payment processing and recordkeeping tools for court reporting and to preserve access to life-saving government benefit programs. For individuals with intellectual disabilities who cannot independently manage their finances, a payment card administered by a family member or guardian provides greater independence and security – it is often the first time they have been able to use a card to make purchases on their own. Finally, through partnerships with state governments, True Link offers its services to nearly half of participants in state-administered ABLE Act programs.
“True Link is fundamentally changing people’s financial lives at a time when they are the most vulnerable,” comments Tom Davis, Principal at Centana Growth Partners. “The number of Americans ages 65 and older will likely double to over 80 million in the next 20 years, and this demographic is fortunately living longer and more independently than ever before. No one should be taken advantage of at a time when they need the most support, and customers and families consistently speak to the ways in which True Link has enabled them to retain financial freedom. We are thrilled to partner with True Link and invest in their mission to bring unique financial products to this market.”
David Weiden, Partner at Khosla Ventures, comments, “True Link has a great combination of a passionate team, a large and underserved market, and a proven product offering that is ready to scale. We are excited to partner with them and improve financial flexibility and dignity for millions of people.”
True Link was founded by Kai Stinchcombe and Claire McDonnell, both of whom experienced in their own families the types of problems True Link solves. Tom Davis from Centana Growth Partners is joining the board as the series B director, with David Weiden from Khosla Ventures and Eric Byunn from Centana as observers. True Link will use the new capital to continue hiring top mission-aligned talent, to serve more families and individuals, and to explore new products in the insurance and credit markets.