True Link's Latest Funding Round: How We Got Here and Where We're Headed
I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve raised $35 million in two Series B tranches, the first led by Khosla Ventures and the second preemptively led by Centana Growth Partners. We’ll use this capital to continue protecting the independence and well-being of vulnerable older adults, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addiction. With 50 million people in the population we serve, this funding will also allow us to reach even more families looking for a financial partner as they navigate life’s challenges.
Where it all started
My grandmother Ruth lost tens of thousands of dollars to financial abuse and fraud. Older adults are targeted by $36 billion of fraud every year, and I knew that a product that combined specialized software and user insight could help families who had nowhere else to turn when trying to preserve their loved ones’ autonomy and financial well-being. In 2012, I joined forces with True Link Co-founder and COO Claire McDonnell, who had experienced a similar issue in her family and has a history of service dedicated to underrepresented groups.
Discovering our product could help others too
We designed the True Link system and our prepaid debit card for situations where an older adult relies on another person for help managing their finances and preventing scams and fraud. For these people, our technology can be used to block exploitation related to memory loss (like scam charities, sweepstakes entries, and telemarketing) or to allow paid caregivers to run errands for an elder.
When we launched the True Link Card, it quickly became clear that its features could protect a wider range of people who weren’t being served by traditional financial institutions. We found that people with disabilities and individuals in recovery from addiction could use our product to meet their unique needs and circumstances.
For people who receive help managing their assets from a family member, trustee, or another supportive individual, True Link provides recordkeeping tools to preserve access to SSI, Medicaid, and Section 8.
For individuals with intellectual disabilities who can’t independently manage their finances, a card administered by a family member or guardian provides greater independence and security. It’s also often the first time this population has been able to use a Visa card to make purchases on their own.
People in recovery from addiction and their families can use our customizable card settings to help enable budgeting, establish curfews, block liquor store or gambling purchases, and prevent impulsive cash withdrawals that could lead to relapse. Our platform provides financial transparency to sober coaches and recovery centers and helps rebuild trust with family members.
What began as a card exclusively for vulnerable older adults is now used by families and professionals in all 50 states to protect loved ones or clients facing threats to their independence and well-being.
Our continued growth
As our client base grew, we pursued a multiproduct vision and launched new programs, all operating under the core belief that being able to make safe financial decisions fosters independence. In partnership with state governments, we provide services to almost half of the participants in state-administered ABLE programs. Through True Link Financial Advisors, LLC we also offer investment advisory services that are tailored to the needs of populations depending on a fixed amount of resources for the remainder of their lives.
Millions of people, their families, and the professionals who serve them need our products, now more than ever with the spread of COVID-19. The True Link system allows them or their caregivers to purchase medicine, food, and other essentials safely from home so that they can avoid exposure. Many businesses are going cashless in response to the virus, but credit cards aren’t the right solution for everyone. The True Link platform, in combination with our True Link Visa Prepaid Debit Cards, helps our clients transition to this new, complex way of life.
With so many changes profoundly impacting the people we serve, I’m especially excited about our Series B funding. We’ll use the capital to help more families and professionals, as well as explore new products in the insurance and credit markets. To further our goal of protecting the autonomy of even more people, we’ll also be hiring mission-aligned talent. Join us!