Partnering with Felicis Ventures to make smart, participant-first retirement planning the industry standard
For the most part, the 401(k) industry has evolved in the wrong direction. Legacy 401(k) providers have either lost focus on - or abandoned completely - the goal of the programs in the first place: to give employees the opportunity to save as much as possible for retirement. Programs today are laden with complicated fees that prohibit participants from understanding where their money is going, and who’s really benefitting from their investment. The structure benefits the providers, not the clients or participants. That’s why I started Guideline, and rebuilt 401(k)s from the ground up alongside my tenacious team.
Since we launched publicly last summer, it’s become crystal clear that this was a problem that needed to be solved. We’ve onboarded nearly 2,000 businesses across 48 states, which have chosen Guideline for our all-inclusive, no asset-based fee 401(k) platform that integrates seamlessly with payroll providers.
As the retirement saving platform of choice for small and medium-sized businesses, we’ve already amassed over $120 million in assets under management in less than a year. Quite frankly, it’s been challenging to even keep up with demand, which means we need to grow our customer success, engineering, and growth teams, in addition to scaling our proprietary platform and partnerships.
Today, I’m excited to announce that we’ve raised a $15 million Series B financing round, led by Felicis Ventures, to scale our mission to empower people to save toward a better retirement and combat the retirement crisis. I couldn’t be happier to welcome Felicis Founder and Managing Director, Aydin Senkut, to Guideline’s Board of Directors, whose invaluable experience and counsel will be instrumental in the next phase of our business.
When I asked Aydin how he’d summarize the decision behind investing in Guideline, he said, “Guideline brings both transparency and simplification to retirement planning. Kevin and his team took each decades-old aspect of the 401(k) industry and corrected and modernized it with technology. The result is a powerful, full-stack software-based platform that empowers employees to save more, and employers to pay less. Guideline is now the only responsible option for retirement saving and, as our biggest investment to date, we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the team to safeguard the futures of working professionals.”
As technologists, we tackled the retirement saving industry with code instead of fees, building the first all-inclusive program on the market that takes just minutes to set up. We automate plan administration and compliance with a platform that directly integrates with many of the most popular payroll providers, like Gusto, OnPay, BambooHR, and Xero. Like our clients, it didn’t take long for these providers to recognize the benefits Guideline provides. Industry thought leaders like EaseCentral and SyncHR choosing Guideline for their employees is something we’re very proud of.
Gusto, one of the fastest-growing online HR service providers, has selected Guideline as its exclusive integrated 401(k) offering because of our participant-first philosophy. With Guideline, plan participants don’t feel like they need an Economics degree to make the right decision. We’ve developed a suitability algorithm to make investment recommendations both easy and automated for participants. By answering a few simple questions about salary, age, and risk tolerance, participants are given a custom investment recommendation that best serves their interests and, just as importantly, is easy to understand.
“Gusto chose Guideline as our exclusive partner because we share the goal of helping modern companies take care of their employees. We also both make complicated processes refreshingly easy and affordable,” said Tomer London, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Gusto. “Through Guideline’s integration with our platform, employee 401(k) contributions automatically sync with payroll, which means HR admins don’t need to worry about entering data or making mistakes. Together, we’re bringing peace of mind to employees and enabling them to save for their future.”
The Guideline journey to date has been incredibly rewarding. I’m grateful to our partners - new and old - who have played such a pivotal role in getting us where we are. We’re only getting started and can’t wait for the world to see what we do next on our quest to make smart retirement planning easy for everyone.