Elevator Pitch: Green Sherpa
The Pitch: "Most financial-management tools are focused on historical spending. We help people plan for the next 12 months. Unlike other tools out there, our product is specifically built for women, most of whom manage their household finances. On our site, in addition to tracking bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and loans, users can make cash-flow projections and set savings goals. The site also includes collaboration tools, so users can have conversations with their accountants or spouses. We are raising money to build our development and marketing teams and to go international."
CO-FOUNDERS: Masen Yaffee and Erin Lozano
LOCATION: Santa Barbara, California
FOUNDED: January 2007
LAUNCHED: August 2009
2009 PROJECTED REVENUE: $60,000
PROJECTED GROSS PROFIT MARGIN: 82 percent
SUBSCRIPTION PRICE: $7.95 per month or $71.40 per year
NUMBER OF USERS: 3,000
PROJECTED NUMBER OF USERS BY END OF 2009: 7,500
FUNDING SOUGHT: $5 million
The Investors Weigh In
Offer More for Free
In this environment, products that help people save are valuable, and the demographic Green Sherpa is going after is very appealing to marketers. But other personal finance sites are free, and Green Sherpa's fee could limit adoption. I would suggest offering basic functions, such as setting savings goals, for free and then charging for others, such as importing bank data in real time.
Highland Capital Partners
Streamline the Service
Green Sherpa's product could be like The Suze Orman Show of software. But its feature set needs to be smarter. Once I enter my credit card information, for instance, the site should know my expenses and be able to recommend cheaper alternatives. At this early stage, I would recommend raising a smaller amount of money.
Green Sherpa's collaboration tool gives it a built-in community aspect that the company should highlight more. Women have a very strong level of engagement online, and I think the site would be well positioned as a destination for recommendations on financial providers. Perhaps it could partner with financial providers, who could refer clients to the site.