Women focused superannuation fintech Verve has raised $3 million in a pre-Series A as it looks to expand its financial services offerings.
Verve cofounder and CEO Christina Hobbs said the round, led by impact-focused family office Alberts, closed early.
“Two years ago, we were asking investors to believe that there is a problem in financial services, that women feel poorly served. This capital raise, we were simply able to demonstrate that we have thousands of Verve members who love us,” she said.
“We have an outstanding NPS [net promoter score], and we could show that most of our new super members come through word of mouth and positive reviews — something that’s virtually unheard of in financial services.”
Hobbs said they were told that it was going to be tough raising capital this year.
“But in our case we were able to sell the impact that we’re having on women’s lives and in this tough environment for raising funds; we were finding most of the investors we spoke to were investing because they felt passionately about seeing us succeed,” she said.
The fintech began life in 2019 with Verve Super, hoping to close the gap between the superannuation savings women and men have at retirement.
Male investors portfolios have portfoolios worth an average of $667,000 compared to $413,000 for women.
Verve went to raise $2.6 million in 2021 with backing from several prominent female investors, including AI Media’s Deanne Weir; human rights lawyer Dalit Kaplan; Without Fear or Farvour founder Pam O’connor; and Jess and Stef Dadon, founders of vegan shoe company TWOOBS, and Carol Schwartz.
Hobbs is now looking to expand her startup’s women-focused financial service offerings. ‘Verve Money’ launched this week as an ethical investing platform for women .
“Launching an investment app is a logical next step for us, we’ve had members asking us for this since the day we launched Verve Super. It’s exciting to be thinking about how we can partner with women across their wealth building journey,” Hobbs said.
Verve Money investors can choose between three ethically curated portfolios with different goal time frames, risk levels and anticipated returns. The portfolios include impact-focused alternative investments including a minimum 20% investment in climate solutions.
Alberts director Kirsty Albert said they were impressed by the startup’s ethos and also by how much members love the product.
“The Verve team has developed a commercial business that helps tackle the economic inequity that so many women face – both at the individual and systemic levels,” she said.
“We’re excited to join this journey as an investor and as an advocate for lifting women’s economic equality.”