Seeing is believing, goes the old saying. And as far as The Beans is concerned, seeing is key to savings, as well.
At least that’s the thinking behind Atlanta, Georgia-based fintech, The Beans, which leverages Visual Financial Planning in order to power its eponymous, iOS financial planning app.
“The world is rapidly becoming more visual and traditional financial services are too complicated, or so costly that they become inaccessible,” Melissa Pancoast, CEO and founder of The Beans, said. “The Beans is designed to empower all people to make Visual Financial Plans effortlessly, and our growing community in Atlanta is evidence of the widespread need that we are addressing.”
A former math teacher who later became a researcher at the University of Oxford, Pancoast developed Visual Financial Planning as a way for people to create easy-to-follow financial plans that help them manage both their spending and savings – and avoid the high levels of stress that often accompanies financial planning efforts. Features of the app include the ability to create personalized visual financial plans, automated transaction labelling for expense tracking, and real-time support and alerts to inform users of account balances, Safe to Spend amounts, and more. Pancoast has said that she hopes that those working in what she called “the caring class” of teachers, health care workers, and others – people with jobs that often are especially and consistently stressful – will be first among those who take advantage of The Beans’ solution.
The Beans made fintech headlines in recent days on news that the company, which turns four this year, secured its first seed funding last week. The $2 million investment was led by Percursor Ventures and featured participation from Swing Ventures, Relay Ventures, Oxford Angel Fund, and One Planet. The fundraising added to the $1.4 million in pre-seed capital the company has raised over the course of two previous rounds.
In addition to offering an app, The Beans has hosted free financial wellness workshops for more than 30 schools and organizations in the Atlanta area. And organizations like the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and the United Nations, have worked to bring the benefits of Visual Financial Planning to millions of families around the world.
“I used The Beans’ recommendations on how to divide up my money and was able to bring my Sheltered expenses (rent, utilities, subscriptions, and savings) down to 60% of my income, including some savings for a big trip I have planned this year,” an Atlanta public school teacher Veronica Karwoski said. “I’m less stressed about everyday expenses and I’m making progress toward the life I want to live.”