— Led by The Artemis Fund, the round includes existing strategic partner Northwestern Mutual and new investor Franklin Templeton, which takes a board seat; Launchpad Capital and Square co-founder Jim McKelvey also participated —
UNest, a fintech company that helps parents invest and save for their kids’ future, announced it has raised $26 million in Series B funding led by The Artemis Fund with participation from Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Franklin Templeton, AltaIR Capital, Launchpad Capital, OneWay Ventures and Unlock Venture Partners, among others. The company will use the financing to fuel continued growth and the launch of new features such as UNest Legacy, which will allow parents to buy individual stocks and cryptocurrencies for their children.
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“UNest’s growth has wildly exceeded our expectations, largely because we listened to our customers who are looking for flexibility to save for things outside of just education
This latest round caps an exceptional year during which the company received its broker-dealer license, established a partnership with PayPal, added over 300,000 users, and welcomed NBA All-Star Baron Davis, Laura Dern, and Hannah Simone as brand ambassadors. UNest also acquired two fintech companies, Littlefund and Kidfund. These events solidify UNest’s position as the market leader in the family savings space.
“UNest is addressing an important investment and advice gap,” said Jennifer Ball, Head of US Marketing for Franklin Templeton, who will be joining the UNest board. “Millennials and Gen Z are looking for easier ways to manage their money, and UNest is at the forefront of the digital transformation revolutionizing the financial industry. We are excited to embark on this journey with UNest as the company starts a new chapter.”
To date, UNest has raised nearly $40 million from investors. The capital raised through successive rounds of funding is particularly noteworthy given that in 2020, female founders in the U.S. received less than 1% of the total money raised by fintechs.
UNest is differentiated from other fintechs through its focus on helping members save rather than spend. In contrast to other platforms with high churn rates, UNest establishes a deep-seated relationship with families to help them make smart financial moves from birth through adulthood.
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“UNest’s growth has wildly exceeded our expectations, largely because we listened to our customers who are looking for flexibility to save for things outside of just education,” said Ksenia Yudina, CFA, Founder & CEO of UNest. “Having major financial institutions such as Northwestern Mutual and Franklin Templeton invest in this round validates what we’re building and is indicative of where they believe the industry is headed. We set out to create a system where everyone has the opportunity to participate and thrive and we intend to continue to follow through on that promise.”
“We are proud to lead this round because of the tremendous traction and impact achieved by UNest,” said Leslie Goldman, General Partner & Co-Founder at The Artemis Fund. “The Artemis Fund is on a mission to diversify wealth by investing in iconic female founders like Ksenia. Her tremendous vision and ability to meet and exceed targets have impressed us since the moment we met her. We are her unwavering partner in democratizing access to financial stability and freedom for the next generation.”
UNest democratizes access to financial resources previously available to a select few. Anyone can open an account in just five minutes, with no paperwork. Plus, all users have access to features such as Gifting, which allows family and friends to contribute directly to a child’s account for holidays or special occasions; UNest Rewards, where parents can earn more money when they shop with their favorite brands; UNest Learn, an educational component built into the app to answer money questions. All aspects of the app make investing in a kid’s future a fun and social event.
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