SAN FRANCISCO, June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ReadyForZero, an online program for managing and reducing personal debt, today announced a $4.5M Series A financing led by Polaris Venture Partners with participation from Citi Ventures, a Palo Alto, California-based unit of the global financial services company Citigroup, and other investors.
The new capital will support the expansion of ReadyForZero's online product to provide more ways of helping consumers in trouble. The company's vision is to build simple online financial software specifically designed for the almost 77% of (or 158M) American families with debt (1).Growing debt is a major problem for consumers and for creditors, and nobody wins when people can't repay their obligations.
National and personal debt are at record levels in the United States. According to the Federal Reserve, there is over $2.4 trillion dollars in total consumer debt. The breadth of financial options used to deal with this debt is increasingly difficult for people to understand.
"There exists a huge opportunity for Americans to better understand and optimize their debt portfolios on their own," according to ReadyForZero co-founder and CEO Rod Ebrahimi. "We are already seeing success stories and the results speak for themselves."
In just four months since its public launch, ReadyForZero has been helping its users pay down over $42M in credit card debt and has received international media coverage. In addition to helping thousands of people better manage and understand their debt, ReadyForZero's regular users are now paying down debt 2x faster than others (2).
"We believe ReadyForZero addresses a serious pain that affects millions of Americans," said Ryan Spoon, Principal, Polaris Venture Partners. "The company is already making a meaningful impact on people's lives by improving the way they manage and pay down debt. We are excited to help grow the company and extend its reach to millions of users."
"One of the ways the Citi Ventures team drives Citi's growth is by investing in startups relevant to Citi businesses and customers," said Christopher Kay, Managing Director, Citi Ventures. "ReadyForZero is a great fit for us because they offer an innovative online service driven by consumers' needs."
The company was originally founded with a small seed investment of $17k from Y Combinator.
ReadyForZero Inc. develops online financial software for managing and reducing personal debt. Founded in 2010 by Rod Ebrahimi and Ignacio Thayer, ReadyForZero has received international recognition for its easy-to-use and effective online financial product (http://ReadyForZero.com). The company is based in San Francisco.
(1) 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances
(2) 2011 ReadyForZero.com user and balance data: