American Express taps startup BodesWell for expansion into financial planning

This post is by Mary Ann Azevedo from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

American Express is branching out into financial planning, with a little help from a seven-person startup called BodesWell.

This week, the credit card giant launched a pilot of its first self-service digital financial planning tool, dubbed “My Financial Plan (MFP).” The six-month pilot kicked off on July 11 with about 25,000 select Amex cardmembers.

American Express quietly invested in BodesWell in late 2020 via its venture arm, Amex Ventures. Since then, the financial services behemoth teamed up with the tiny startup to develop the financial planning tool for its users. The new product is designed to give users a complete picture of their financial health and help them make and achieve major life goals, such as buying a house or retirement.

TechCrunch talked with Amex Ventures’ Julia Huang, who led the investment and strategy around the new product, and BodesWell co-founder and CEO Matthew Bellows to learn more details.

The pair actually met while serving on a panel together in 2019. 

“I was drawn to the fact that it was not a round-up savings tool, but rather a holistic tool to understand your full financial picture that could be used to plan for the financial impact of your life decisions,” Huang told TechCrunch.

Before deciding to invest in BodesWell, Huang says Amex Ventures — which over time has backed more than 70 startups — had “evaluated the space quite extensively.”

Huang introduced Bellows and his staff to Amex’s Digital Labs team and they embarked on jointly developing a specialized offering (Read more…)