Venus Williams is among the big hitters to join a $9 million funding round for Ellevest, a robo-advisory startup run by former Bank of America and Citi executive Sallie Krawcheck that caters specifically to women.
Tennis superstar Williams is joined by business bigwig Mellody Hobson and big name investors Theresia Gouw, Jennifer Fonstad and Sonja Perkins in the funding round, which follows a $10 million Series A last year.
Ellevest sits squarely in the territory occupied by a new breed of wealth management firms such as Betterment and Wealthfront, creating financial portfolios comprised of exchange-traded funds that it rebalances based on a user’s timeline and risk tolerance.
However, Krawcheck’s platform is focused squarely on women in a bid to close the gender investing app. This, says the firm, does not mean “pink it and shrink it” but the creation of an investing system built expressly for women.
Following hundreds of hours of research with potential users, the platform includes a proprietary algorithm that incorporates women’s unique salary peaks and longer lifespans. Also, clients can get goals-based investment plans, for things such as starting a business, retiring well or buying a home.
Commenting on the new investors, Krawcheck says: “This incredible group of individuals is investing in other women to promote the message about the importance of taking financial control. They have each broken down barriers in their own careers and are now turning to closing the gender investing gap; we’re thrilled to have them as investors in Ellevest.”