May 21, 2019, 09:00 ET
SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Clerkie, the AI-powered financial assistant, officially launched its app today with $2 million in seed funding from Flourish, a venture of The Omidyar Group focused on backing impact fintech globally, and angel investors. Clerkie's mission is simple: democratize financial help by bridging the financial knowledge gap for middle-class Americans. The financial platform combines expert financial advice with one-click automation that makes it easy for users to take action. During beta testing, this approach seemed to resonate with users, as Clerkie already built a community of over 50,000 users, more than half of which use the app multiple times a week.
"At a time when the vast majority of Americans are working hard only to find themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck, Clerkie empowers middle-class families with actionable advice. People want to be smart with their money, but have no idea what to do or where to start. Our goal is to put them one recommendation and one click away from better financial outcomes," said Guy Assad, CEO and founder of Clerkie.
According to data from the Financial Health Network, more than 70 percent of American households are financially coping or vulnerable, struggling to deal with income volatility, accessing financial safety nets, and saving for the future. Clerkie has the potential to impact more than 100 million Americans by helping them get out of debt, buy a new home, create better budgets, and make smarter investments.
"When I emigrated to the US, I was shocked by how many people around me, including myself, were trapped in this cycle of financial instability. That experience is one that is deeply personal to me, so it was only natural for me to want to help others tackle this problem," continued Guy.
To solve this, Clerkie's AI takes a holistic view of a person's finances and automates and manages recommended financial tasks, reducing the stress and friction that has often come with confronting personal finances.
"The idea that anyone can have free access to expert knowledge from a top advisor to guide their decisions based on their particular financial circumstance and goals is a powerful proposition—that is Clerkie's promise," said Emmalyn Shaw, managing partner at Flourish. "Clerkie's sophisticated AI deeply understands its users' lifestyles to help them better navigate financial decision-making, perform tasks on their behalf, and, most importantly, anticipate potential issues and problem-solve before they derail people's lives."
Funds raised in the round will be used to scale Clerkie's financial skills, make the app available to Android users, and expand third-party integrations to increase the automation of tasks the AI can perform for users.
How the app works
Clerkie's AI is designed to process millions of inputs and couple them with analyses from seasoned financial experts, providing the information its users need to make better financial decisions. The app also integrates with several third-parties in order to perform transactional tasks on behalf of consumers, such as paying a phone bill, updating account information, moving a payment due date to better suit income cycles, changing 401K investment options to optimize gains, and more.
To sign up, users download the app and connect their bills and financial accounts. Once Clerkie has access to a user's information, the AI stands ready to answer any specific question a user might have about their finances. Depending on the complexity of the request, Clerkie may ask for additional details before providing a recommendation. From there, exchanges with Clerkie look very much like a chat with a trusted friend about the best ways to stretch your money and reach your financial goals.
The app uses the same level of encryption a bank uses to secure consumer data. Unlike other financial institutions, Clerkie does not sell consumer private data to third-parties, ensuring user privacy.
Clerkie's app is free to download. Clerkie's business model is based on high-quality referrals that find the best solutions to address users' specific needs—an approach that has been proven to boost consumer trust and is gaining traction among many fintech companies.
Clerkie's app is currently available to iOS users and can be downloaded here.
What users say
A sample of reviews from Apple's App Store:
- "I came in looking for a loan but instead Clerkie said I wasn't likely to be approved by anyone due to my credit score but then suggested finding a part time job to increase my income. I'm so glad it did and I'm already making an extra $250 per month, plus it's so much better than taking out more loans."
- "I have some debt in collections and have been too nervous to deal with it. Clerkie gave me some good tips and helped me start dealing with it. I've got a ways to go but feel a lot better about everything now. Don't just avoid it like I did."
- "I was thinking of buying a new car and asked Clerkie, it helped me think through all the implications. Had such a great experience and I definitely made a better decision and was able to better evaluate my auto loan options than I would have otherwise."
- "I never thought I'd say this about an app, but it's actually taught me a lot. Clerkie has helped me find the best credit cards and I've been working on improving my credit. What surprised me the most is that it also helped me think about ways to find part-time jobs so I didn't need to take out a loan. It seems to really want to help and find the best solution for you. Whatever your situation (but especially if you have struggled with debt), I'd highly recommend giving it a try."
Clerkie is an AI-powered assistant that aims to help the millions of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck improve their financial health by providing them with real-time answers and actionable financial help. Clerkie learns about its users over time and can anticipate potential financial issues, helping solve them before they become a problem. You can learn more about Clerkie at www.clerkie.io.
Ken Shuman, Clerkie, [email protected], +1 (415) 517-7211
Claudia Parazzoli, Flourish, [email protected], +1 (650) 482-2504
Gena Madow, FleishmanHillard, [email protected], +1 (415) 318-4230
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