College Savings App UNest Buys Littlefund, Doubling Its User Base

UNest, a mobile app that helps parents build college nest eggs for their kids, announced Wednesday it has acquired Littlefund, a similar app that will double UNest's user base to over 60,000 people. The integration will also make it so extended family members and friends can contribute directly to a UNest account on behalf of a child.

"Both are applying a modern, technology-driven approach to making financial solutions more affordable, accessible and user-friendly for a new generation of parents," said Ksenia Yudina, chief executive officer and founder of UNest, in a written statement. "Our teams share the same values and there is a lot of synergy in terms of vision and demographics."

Yudina, who was previously a senior executive at Capital Group, said she got the idea for UNest after seeing that her millennial friends having babies did not know how to invest in college savings plans and were put off by the stacks of paperwork that traditionally have been required.

UNest makes the investing simpler. It charges users a $3 monthly advisory fee for the service that funnels cash into 529 plans, an investment tool that provides tax breaks for college savings. It also offers trust accounts for minors.

The deal comes after UNest closed an oversubscribed $9 million Series A financing in June at a $25 million, post money valuation, according to Pitchbook data. The round was led by Anthos Capital, which also made an introduction to NBA All-Star Baron Davis, who ended up becoming an investor in the company and a brand representative.

UNest, which is headquartered in North Hollywood, launched in February and says it has seen "rapid growth" in users during the pandemic as the savings rate increased and families focused on long-term savings goals.

Following the completion of the acquisition, Littlefund founders Mimi Chan and Isaac Dressman will join UNest as head of experience and head of research and development, respectively. They are currently based in San Francisco but are planning to relocate to L.A. when employees can go back into the office.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Daring Foods wants to do for plant-based chicken what Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger did for faux meat: Take it mainstream and, in the process, convert a few carnivores.

The Los Angeles-based company just raised $8 million and is about to launch its newest product: Plant-based protein "chicken" tenders.

Read more Show less

As soon as I stepped into the new Amazon Fresh store in Woodland Hills an employee asked if I wanted to shop with a regular cart or use their 'dash cart.'

The 35,000 square foot store that opened to the public on Friday is Amazon's first so-called smart grocery store as the e-commerce giant attempts to remake in-person shopping and push into the supermarket space.

Read more Show less

Sabrina Kay, PhD., is a serial entrepreneur, investor, fashion designer and philanthropist.

Born in South Korea, Kay moved to the U.S. with her family at 18. As a recent immigrant who barely spoke English, she became a janitor to help make ends meet and enrolled in a local college to pursue the education she always dreamed of.

By the age of 20, Kay dropped out of school and was a single mother who was solely focused on creating a better life for her future daughter.

Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS

Trending