Crosslink Capital and Seattle angel investors Geoff Entress, Michael Buhrmann and others have invested $1.2 million in Balance Financial, a Bellevue company which is looking to combine elements of Quicken’s Mint.com with the personal financial management of H&R Block.
“Instead of just another DIY tool, Balance manages your personal finances for you,” explains CEO Devin Miller. “Balance combines a real human bookkeeper along with purpose built software and an array of bill management, budgeting and forecasting tools to provide an alternative in personal finance that is more like H&R Block than Turbo Tax.”
In an interview with GeekWire earlier this year, Miller said that Mint.com relies on the user to keep information current and up-to-date. The problem is, people don’t really like to spend their time doing that grunt work.
With Balance, the company will assign a personal bookkeeper to handle accounting issues to do either piecemeal assistance or full-on bookkeeping.
“We get a lot of random people from all walks of life who want a fully-managed financial service,” said Miller. “And then we get a lot of people calling and saying: ‘I’ve tried Mint, I’ve tried Quicken and I get it going and two months later it turns into a garbage file because I am not spending the time to update it.'”
Miller said that the market is huge. And the former executive at Finsphere said that the company is different in that it offers both bill paying and expense management tracking.
“Where Balance is different than existing players is the personal touch of real service provided by real people,” said Miller. “The high-tech and high-service combination results in a premium offering that customers will pay for.” The company charges $75 per month for a full-service offering, but the company is looking at alternative pricing points at lower costs.
Balance has been around for seven years, starting as a personal bookkeeping service. The 12-person startup has been adding new online tools to automate personal finance tasks, with plans to offer a full consumer offering as well as a professional suite of products for bookkeepers, CPAs and financial advisors later this year.