Sequoia leads $5M investment in FutureAdvisor

The personal finance industry is still one of the last sectors to really get an online makeover. But it’s now seeing its share of disruption thanks to companies like FutureAdvisor, a Y Combinator graduate that is announcing $5 million in new funding led by Sequoia Capital with participation from existing seed investors Keith Rabois, the COO of Square and Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppelman.

Seattle-based FutureAdvisor allows users to link their investment accounts and get free, personalized advice on their portfolio. The company, which launched its service in March, isn’t releasing the number of users it serves but says that it has more than $4 billion in assets linked by customers.

FutureAdvisor is designed to give a lot of simple advice to users without forcing them to pay for a personal advisor like Personal Capital or open a new account as WealthFront does. Users just get simple computer-generated tips on how to eliminate fees and taxes, diversify their existing portfolio and achieve their financial goals. The company is rolling out a new personalized 401k analysis tool that lets users see what fees are being applied to their 401k plans and how to reduce them.

FutureAdvisor plans on making money in future by offering a premium tier of services. But there will always be a free level of service, said co-founder Bo Lu. He said the financial services market currently offers financial advice to about ten percent of American households who have enough assets and can afford to pay the quarter of a million human advisors in business today. But he said the bigger opportunity is in offering accessible tools to the vast majority of the market that has some investments but often don’t understand how to optimize it.

“Software hasn’t eaten finance yet but it will and we will do it,” said Lu.

FutureAdvisor previously raised $1 million in seed funding last year from Sequoia, Rabois and Stoppelman. The new money will be used to expand its operations and build its team.