Slice Fintech GM Interviews Pocketnest Founder

Sari Haribhakti interviews Jessica Willis on accomplishments, challenges, predictions



This content was originally posted in Slice general manager of fintech, Sari Haribhakti's, newsletter.



What are you most excited about regarding your product roadmap or growth plans for 2021 + what has been your team’s proudest accomplishment in 2020?


As we're wrapping up 2020 with 9 enterprise customers, an average of 20 percent monthly user growth, and 34 percent monthly increase in app engagement, we're incredibly proud of our team for how quickly we've grown Pocketnest to scale since our Oct. 2019 launch. For 2021, we are most excited about revising the platform's themes of financial wellness to deepen their content and provide end users with more actionable guidance. We're also enhancing institutions' data accessibility, enriching their connection to their users and providing them with more qualified leads and more relevant and timely cross-selling opportunities.



What do you believe is underestimated or misunderstood about the problem you are trying to solve?


Most Americans (90 percent) have at least one significant gap in their financial plan, even though they might have their budget and/or 401(k) down pat. And, while most fintech apps boast financial support, none actually provide comprehensive financial planning—or, support for all 10 major themes of financial wellness, beyond budgeting and investing. I just don't think people realize just how scattered the average millennial's or Gen Xers' financial plans are, and how big of a business opportunity they present to the financial industry. While 90 percent of millennials feel overwhelmed by their finances, most of them (67 percent) go to Facebook and Twitter for financial guidance. Meanwhile, 86 percent of financial advisors ignore millennials and Gen Xers, despite the fact that they represent $46 trillion in assets. Millennials and Gen Xers are desperate for financial support, but their financial institutions simply don't have the technology or the approach to properly meet their needs. Pocketnest can enrich financial institutions' relationships with their users while, ultimately, helping them to achieve financial wellness.



What has been your team’s biggest challenge and what has been your best idea so far for tackling it?


Our team's biggest challenge has been what we call the "three-legged stool" of launching. To secure more customers, we need to demonstrate how our product is growing and evolving; but, in order to demonstrate our growth, we need budget for marketing and product development; to further build the product and afford marketing, we must raise more capital. And so the cycle continues. To overcome this complex challenge, we've operated by a scrappy, quick-to-pivot approach with many mini design and dev sprints. That way, we've been able to raise just enough capital to further build the product to enable marketing and more customers before we must start the cycle again. Many startups experience this early stage "workflow," and we are not intimidated by it; rather, we are invigorated by our continual "wins"!



Who is Pocketnest?


Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Pocketnest is a B2B2C/Saas fintech platform that coaches millennials and gen-xers through holistic financial wellness and deepens their relationships with their financial institutions.



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