David Stedman, Founder and CEO
Company Overview (provide a brief paragraph about your company and mission):
BrightDime is a financial wellness solution designed to create real behavior change in employees through an unbiased, integrated financial platform coupled with concierge features of personalized coaching and content. We partner with progressive companies to integrate financial wellness into their employee benefits programs to enrich organizational culture and upgrade workforce productivity.
What is the inspiration for your company?
Across our country, people are saddled with student loan debt, confused about spending and investment decisions, stressed out about paying bills or maintaining credit ratings. Overwhelmed by generic financial content on the internet and financial professionals trying to sell them products, most people lack unbiased tools and resources to help navigate the complexities of their personal financial situations. BrightDime was developed to fill this gap – and to partner with companies to bring a financial wellness solution to their employees. While C-suite executives may have tools and information at their disposal, many employees simply don’t.
Industry research concludes that financial stress cuts across all demographic groups and has an empirically negative effect for companies on workforce productivity, turnover, absenteeism, timely retirement, and participation in benefits plans such as HSA/401k. The inspiration for BrightDime is to create a personalized, unbiased, holistic solution for employees to make simple behavior changes to enhance their lifelong journey of financial health.
Who is your competition and how do you distinguish your company?:
The financial wellness space is crowded with companies taking different angles in addressing the market: in-person seminars, pinpoint solutions (i.e., student loan repayment or credit score calculators), financial content providers, etc. Additionally, many financial companies offer tools that are under the banner of financial wellness, but are designed largely to increase their product sales. BrightDime distinguishes ourselves with a unique combination of three things:
- Enabling employees to take a holistic view of their financial picture (all spending, loans, investments, financial goals, etc.) in a simplified, user-friendly platform ready for use on any device;
- Operating as an independent, unbiased ally to employees creates a critical level of trust (we do not sell product, nor are we tied to a financial institution); and
- Providing personalized, real-time coaching through in-app chat, catering to any question employees may have. It is this combination that makes BrightDime distinctive and positions us extremely well in the marketplace.
Connection to Carolina Fintech Hub:
BrightDime’s marketing effort spans the country, but as part of the growing FinTech community in the Carolinas, we strive to dominate in this region. We want to be the financial wellness provider for employers on our home turf! Our leaders have been volunteering to mentor early-stage fintech companies for several years through organizations like QC Fintech. We have recently become more connected to the Carolinas Fintech Hub and view this partnership as a way to accelerate our growth as a company – and we also will play a leadership role in the community to help other Fintech businesses thrive.
Recent Accomplishments and Challenges:
After 2+ years of building out a technology solution that is modern and secure with an exceptional user experience, BrightDime has been building out the business over the last 11 months. To date, we have 15 clients and the pace of dialogue is incredibly strong. The product market fit is clear, and the feedback from companies, consultants, and channel partners suggests that we have a market leading solution. The biggest challenge is that the sales cycle is longer than anticipated. It is less that we are losing business to competitors, and more that moving companies from intrigue to implementation has taken several months.
What is Next?… (for you, the industry, the next 5 years?)
The financial wellness space is white hot. Within a few years, it’s clear to us that most all employers will have a financial wellness component of their benefits strategy. For us, we will continue to grow aggressively over the next 12 months in the middle market (organizations with 200-5000 employees), but concurrently we will be focused on winning business with larger, enterprise organizations as well. Our technology solution scales very easily and our cost structure aligns well to larger organizations. There are a number of other partnership discussions we are having with complementary solutions. We expect financial wellness will follow the path of physical health wellness and within 5 years, some dominant players will start to emerge. We are positioning ourselves to be one of those players.
Coming up: People in Fintech blog will feature Kristin Wallace, the VP of Emerging Payments Product Management at BB&T. Kristin is an active part of the Charlotte Fintech community, a vocal advocate for diversity, and a new mom that is redefining what it means to work in Fintech.