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With $9 million in second-round VC bucks from Venus and friends on the books, Ellevest's AUM remains ground bound

Sallie Krawcheck has yet to bring her infectious hold on fellow UHNW women to mass affluent women and their expensively long life spans

Author Janice Kirkel October 6, 2016 at 7:44 PM
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Venus Williams (with Sallie Krawcheck looking on): I wanted to become involved because I believed in Sallie. (Photo credit: LinkedIn)

Jeff Spears

Jeff Spears

October 6, 2016 — 9:25 PM
I'm rooting for Sallie! Why? Because I have sat in enough meetings where the male "advisor" ignores the woman and focused most of his attention on the man. There are several successful female focused RIAs but they emphasize education and communication. Both seem to be lacking in a Robo model. My guess is if Sallie tweaked her business model to include human female advisors the line of potential recruits would be out the door! Who wouldn't want to be trained by and work with Sallie?
Amanda Steinberg | WorthFM

Amanda Steinberg | WorthFM

October 7, 2016 — 2:14 AM
Janice and Brooke, while your assertions around lack of success regarding previous women-focused ventures failing seem valid on the surface, you're missing some key distinctions that make any FinTech venture successful. In the emerging-mass affluent financial space, of which there are few players overall, positioning around any niche, be it female or otherwise, doesn't determine success. The two factors that matter most are cost per client acquisition and long-term profitability. SheCapital and the thousands of other startups that will never hit your radar failed to thrive because they couldn't create a conversion funnel at a sensible cost. That’s not a desire or top of funnel problem, but pure mechanics. Few founders, especially those with non-tech backgrounds, can engineer this form of success. Second, pricing pressures in non-HNW financial space are very hard to turn profitable, making everything from capital raising to short-term profitability especially difficult. But I promise you this: women are completely disenamored with traditional finance. Only 15% of clients of today’s leading robos' clients are female, meaning that tens of millions of affluent, self-directed women seek better peace of mind and contextually relevant services that don’t exist today. Our platform WorthFM has 40,000 women on the waitlist and we’re meticulously optimizing our onboarding and overall service methodology to mirror what they want from their financial services provider. Even if Ellevest and WorthFM don’t succeed, there’s a widely ignored demographic controlling $5TR in assets that someone soon will serve, and profitably, but by and large the bias against women’s specific culturally-derived cognitive dissonance around money is a giant pain point to be solved and perhaps the largest overlooked market opportunity in finance today. Anyone who solves the client acquisition problem and enhanced service model will eventually do it. I invite you to reconsider the critique as you missed the core distinction that make any FinTech venture successful – rapid, low-cost client conversion. Gender is simply one significant and widely misunderstood differentiator in an industry that’s long been inhospitable to women.
Stephanie Sammons

Stephanie Sammons

October 10, 2016 — 10:35 PM
I think Jennifer Hatch hit the nail on the head with "there’s definitely a desire by a certain percentage of people in any community to work with people who get them, understand them". Women's needs, goals, and desires ARE different. Regardless of the investment process or algorithm applied to get them to their goals, it's truly the front-end acquisition process and ongoing support that matters most...high trust, high tech, and high touch. Sallie is smart, intuitive, and very in touch with the clients she serves. Do not underestimate her!

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