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Exclusive: Era raises $3.1M for next-gen PFM

Illustration of a phone with apps that spell "SAVE."

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Personal finance management (PFM) startup Era has raised $3.1 million in seed funding led by Northzone, the company tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The company brings its app to market at the same time established PFM apps are being shut down.

How it works: Users connect checking, savings, credit, and investment accounts, as well as their payroll provider, and Era creates a 360-degree view of their finances.

  • In addition to a personal dashboard, users have a personalized news timeline aggregated from various sources.
  • Era also offers an AI-driven chat that lets users ask questions about the market or their personal finances.
  • The chat service can also be used to make transfers between accounts, create budgets or rebalance their investment portfolios.

What's next: In a future release, users will also be able to follow finance professionals who create "if this, then that" (ITTT)-like blueprints they can subscribe to for making automated financial decisions.

Between the lines: Era plans to launch with a freemium model and monetize the platform by charging a tiered subscription fee of $8 to $30 a month

  • The tiers will be based on which features users take advantage of, from money movement to the rebalancing of accounts.

Context: Era was founded by CEO Alex Norcliffe and COO Lindsay Brady, who worked in product and design roles at companies like Stripe, Square, Apple and Google.

  • Norcliffe says the idea for Era came while he was at Square and for the first time was earning a salary that incorporated public market equity.
  • "I frankly had no idea what to do with it. I had no education in this kind of thing and no financial education," Norcliffe says.
  • "I started realizing most people end up in a scenario where you either need to be a full-time expert and it's your job to know finance, or you need to be wealthy enough to pay someone like that."

The intrigue: Era is coming to market at the same time some older PFM apps and services are being shuttered.

  • Last week Mint, one of the first PFMs on the market, announced it is being sunsetted by owner Intuit, which acquired the app in 2009.
  • Status Money, which was founded in 2016, announced earlier this week that it too was closing down and transferring member accounts to Quicken's online budgeting tool Simplifi.

Of note: Protagonist and Designer Fund also participated in Era's seed round.

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