While growing up in Boston and attending Stanford University, Anders Jones never imagined that his career path would veer away from traditional finance roles towards entrepreneurship. Jones, the cofounder and CEO of Facet, shared his journey on the DealMakers podcast recently. His venture has attracted $158 million in funding from top-tier investors like TeleSoft Partners, Durable Capital Partners, Green Cow Venture Capital, and Warburg Pincus.
In this episode, you will learn:
- An inspiring journey from humble beginnings to esteemed educational institutions
- An initial career phase at industry-leading tech companies
- The inception and growth of two game-changing ventures
- The philosophy of a global mindset for robust team formation and business expansion
- A glimpse into the future of a pioneering company and its prospective impact on a crucial societal issue
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About Anders Jones:
Anders is an entrepreneur and early-stage tech investor. Prior to Facet, Anders was a founding partner of Argyle Ventures. Argyle invests in emerging startup markets, with a focus on advertising, technology, financial technology, and healthcare IT.
Prior to Argyle, Anders was on the early team at LiveRamp (acquired by Acxiom for $310 million) and has been involved as an investor or advisor in many other startups in Silicon Valley.
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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: All righty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So do that we have a really exciting founder. We’re going to be talking about you know, basically building and scaling but really interesting story I mean from being an early employee to making some investments of of his own and then also to starting you know his company that he is saying. Pushing now you know out of one of those emerging you know areas where you know perhaps you don’t have like the hecticness and the action that you would see like in silione valley for example, but tremendous what he has been able to accomplish. So I think that you’ll find this episode quite inspiring so without further ado. Let’s welcome. Our guest today. And there’s jones welcome to the show so give us a walk through memory lane. How was life growing up in Boston.
Anders Jones: Ajandra Great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Anders Jones: Boston was great. Boston’s ah Boston’s one of my my my favorite cities. Um was there for the first you know first part of my life until I I went to school had a had a great experience. Sarah funny enough haven’t really been back. But it’s it’s. Definitely has a a fond place in my heart and also you know relevant to this audience like very big and and continuing to expand texting there. Um I think like ah number 3 in the country for venture capital dollars deployed I think so yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: That’s amazing now now eventually eventually for you. You know like things say shifted a bit and you went to Stanford for your undergrad. So how was how was you know going there seeing like the land of innovation. You know everyone.
Anders Jones: Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Do you startups going to coffee shops and you know everyone talking about their ideas I mean how how was that for you.
Anders Jones: It was interesting so I got to Stanford in the fall of 2005 and so it was right it it was before like web two really took off. It wasn’t quite as bad as like 6003 when you know I’m told like the you know the the tumbleweeds were blowing down one ah one and it was like totally dead out there. Um, but there was like a little bit kind of starting to reemerge from the tech scene and you know it’s funny when I reflect on like things I would have done differently. Um, I kind of blew it I majored in international relations. So I had like nothing to do with the with the texting and and didn’t really take advantage of that and I always figured that um you know I would go back to the East Coast and like get a job in finance or something like that.
Anders Jones: And so you know so so California was just sort of a stop along the way what ended up happening was very different I graduated in the spring of 2009 which um was obviously a terrible time to graduate I think 75% of my class didn’t have a job when we graduated so ah. So it was a pretty um you know pretty stark time to be coming out of school and I think a lot of plans that people had to you know, sort of go the safe route end up at Goldman end up at Mckinsey. Whatever it is. You know those those kind of got dashed in the in the midst of all of that. So the same thing happened to me I ended up. Um, going to work on the early team of a startup that eventually became liveramp. So um, you know my my life took a hard left turn at that point and rather than going back to a traditional job on wall street ended up working in tech and the rest is history here. We are.
Alejandro Cremades: Now you were there the eighth employee and they always say you had a not a lot of knowledge around startups right? So um, why why did you join them. How did it come across your radar and and how did that happen.
Anders Jones: So um, the the really kind of the the real story here is there is a hotel on Sand Hill Road called the rosewood which now I think is you know pretty storied in ah in sort of Silicon Valley history but um in 2009 it it opened in the spring of 2009 and ah you know like there was like no no jobs to be had right? So like doing the traditional recruiting path like you know talking to career counselors and stuff like that at school was just like it was kind of dead. So I basically started going to the bar at the rosewood. Um, yeah, ah during like at in the evenings and basically like networking just like meeting venture capitalists. Ah um, and trying to like find a job and so I met this guy Richard Ling who is a partner at a Vc firm called Rembrandt. And we became good friends and he was like hey like I have a um you know I’ve got a portfolio company at the time is called rap leaf that’s hiring and you know let me introduce you the Ceo and so I met the Ceo a guy named Oren Hoffman who’s since gone on to. Ah, found multiple companies and he’s now in inventor himself. He’s a really really um, dynamic guy and very like non-ovious and contrarian thinker and his whole thing was like hey I’m going to hire young smart people who have little experience and just kind of turn them loose and see what happens and so.
Anders Jones: Um, you know I guess I ah I met I sort of met his um I sort of met his bar and and we ended up you know, ended up working there and you know I worked on the business development team there and basically he was like here’s you know here’s our capabilities like go figure out how to make money. So. It was a ton of fun I mean it was like sort of maximum creativity like do whatever you want? Um, you know I think I might have gotten a sued once or twice you know it was just like complete you know, sort of complete free reign and you know that ended up being ah a really successful business. The company sold to axiom in 2013 or 2014 and is a really good sort of multiundred million dollar exit and it’s subsequently got spun out as a public company that you know siltrates today. So that was ah, definitely a formative experience where you know once I got a taste of that I realized that. Entrepreneurship was definitely the path for me.
Alejandro Cremades: Well, what were the um, the ingredients that you saw because I mean when you’re the eighth employee I mean it’s still quite early in the lifecycle of the of the business. But what were some of those same ingredients that they that perhaps you know like.
Anders Jones: Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: You are like okay you know like this this are some of the ingredients that made this company So successful.
Anders Jones: I would say um the the sort of number 1 thing that like really resonated or that really sort of shown through was um, we had such an incredibly high bar for talent and and. Bringing people into the company um to this day those are some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. Let alone works with um and so like we had just this like like crazy brilliant team and um when I left I think we were probably about 45 or 50 people like you know it was a it was a. Great outcome with a relatively small team and I think that that was um, the like the firepower you know, really sort of shown through there. Um, and that was one because we went through some pretty rocky times. So the liveramp was in the the retargeting business and basically. Taking offline data and putting it online um to allow for ad targeting and this was in like you know 14011 this is right sort of at the beginning of a lot of the big online privacy debates and sort of like you know what are your rights as a consumer. How should companies and websites respect your your data privacy. Um, and so we were kind of pushing the limits there or that’s unfair. We always behaved very ethically but we were sort of like doing things that weren’t being that weren’t regulated because no one had ever contemplated it and so there were a couple moments where we had to.
Anders Jones: You know, really sort of take a few steps back and say okay, something that we’re doing or you know we’ve had some success with is now not really, you know, considered part of like what’s what’s kosher. Um, and so you know we had some rocky moments in our business and um, but but like the brilliance of the team always sort of like we we always sort of pulled it back and then. Um, and and you know came up with the next thing and then ultimately figured out. Um you know the the business that liveramp is today so I would say that was a number one like you know it’s a little bit of a cliche that’s like oh you know the the team is so important the quality of your team is so important but that was. For sure the number 1 thing that I think shown through is as like the thing that got us through some of the the rockier times.
Alejandro Cremades: So so obviously you know in this case, the company gets aquiir as you were saying and then you are in your 20 s with a bunch of money in your pockets and on not not bad. So so what happened next? What was what what was the next chapter.
Anders Jones: Um, but.
Anders Jones: I would say I would say I was like Silicon Valley like lower middle class at that point I don’t know it wasn’t it wasn’t a bunch of money but it was it was enough to be um, you know for for as a 25 year old it was. It was nice. So one of the board members a guy named Patrick Mckenna he and I had worked together a lot on a number of. Business development deals at liveramp and had really you know grown grown a friendship out of that and we basically said hey let’s keep working together. Um, so we um, we started off just doing some joint investing so we were investing in so in early stage companies. And we had this thesis around um, investing in ah teams and companies outside of Silicon Valley so um so we ah you know were were looking at sort of other cities that had emerging tech scenes. Um, Patrick actually moved to Miami in the middle of of of all this this was long before Miami was sort of like hot and on the radar of ah you know of of folks like it wasn’t the last couple of years. Um, and um and you know we did deals sort of all around the country um ended up doing a number of deals in Baltimore. And you know that’s relevant to the facet story because ultimately I moved there to found facet um, but you know got really interested and realized that like you know there is a ton of opportunity in in innovation. You know one of the sort of realizations we had is that Silicon Valley is very good at taking an idea and scaling it.
Anders Jones: Um, there’s a great amount of talent that that sort of takes like the core core innovation and bringing it to market. Um, but it’s actually like not that great at the core innovation like you know one of my favorite stats is like Johns Hopkins Files I want to say something like 5 or 600 patents a year um there aren’t that many organizations in Silicon Valley that that ah you know are creating at that at that level like you might have Stanford maybe Berkeley um Intel Apple but like that’s kind of it and um and you know Google certainly. Um, but you know you have all these these like really amazing organizations around institutions around the country that um, you know come up with the core idea or core innovation. But then don’t have the resources around it to to scale it and commercialize it. And so that was sort of the arbitrage that we were playing.
Alejandro Cremades: So then what the what happened here to because you had the the opportunity as well of investing in some companies you were able to see some pattern recognition. So how did you apply that to to ah to this next chapter as well.
Anders Jones: Yeah, so as part of the the sort of investing that we’re doing together. You know we also in the back of our minds are saying hey let’s find an idea in a really big industry with a really big market that could build like a game changing. Company and we we thought about a lot of different things when we looked at healthcare we looked at fintech we looked at Adtech again. Um, you know there’s a lot of um, a lot of ah you know, sort of ideas that that we bounce around over over a couple of years um we kept coming back to financial services. And we we each had like a personal connection. Ah to the industry. My mom actually worked in financial services for her entire career. Um, ah you know was was pretty integral in building up fidelity’s retirement business. Um, and then ah and Patrick’s mom had actually had the opposite experience where she was a. Um, a postal worker and basically retired with her savings walked down to an Edward Jones office and they tried to sell her a really high fee high commission product that was wildly inappropriate for her and fortunately he she called him and he was like wait a second. Don’t do this so we sort of had this. This like thing in our mind that kept bringing us back to financial services and thinking like this is an old antiquated industry um with an enormous market. They make a ton of money. There’s definitely room for disruption here and then the the big sort of aha moment was in 2015.
Anders Jones: The Obama administration tried to pass this rule. It’s called the fiduciary rule and basically what that what that was was um, a a rule that would have said if you’re a financial advisor you’re now legally obligated to act in the best interests of your clients and that rule didn’t pass. And it didn’t pass because the pushback from the industry was if you do this, you’re going to end up with about 8000000 households that lose their advisor relationship because the advisor can’t afford to both service them and act in their best interest. So like if you just like take that at face value. Basically, that’s the industry saying um, yeah, we’re screwing 8000000 of our clients like we are actually not acting their best interests. But it’s better for them to have help than to not have help and that was just like such a mind blowing moment where I was like wow this is like ah a very public thing that they’re saying um, but but like. No, no one is like connecting the dots and saying that there’s something like profoundly screwed up about the way this market works so that was sort of the the genesis of the whole idea and we and then from there sort of the pieces. The pieces came together. We spent a lot of time looking at the market and understanding. Okay, what you know what. Are the where are the places where you could really apply technology to move the needle here and that was ultimately um, you know where we where we came up with facet which is subscription-based financial planning focused on the mass affluent market so focused on people who wouldn’t typically work with a traditional advisor. So.
Anders Jones: You know we’ve lowered cost. We’ve increased access and we fundamentally changed what financial planning is for for these folks.
Alejandro Cremades: And for the people that are listening. How do you guys make money. What’s the business model there.
Anders Jones: Yeah, so it is a pure subscription. So the average client pays us about $3000 a year and they get a dedicated certified financial planner. So the sort of highest level of financial advice. That’s that’s available um, we look at every aspect of their financial life. You know if you think about the sort of traditional ah sort of industry financial advice. It’s let me manage your money and I will help you save for retirement and that’s basically it we have this this this belief that you know you can live better today. With ah with with expert help on your side. You know we basically say every decision you make is a financial decision to a certain extent and you know we want to help you with all of it so we have ah ah a whole sort of way of doing things a facet way of financial planning that we walk all of our our members through and um. And you know, get them to a a much better place from a financial standpoint. Um, and that’s that’s the business. We don’t make money on assets under management. We don’t make money on commissions. Um, it is pure subscriptions so you know on the one hand we are um you know, very much. On the side of of our our members and you know we we are totally unconflicted or we’re not giving advice that puts us at odds with with our members. Best interests? Um, but at the same time you know it’s also on us to continue to prove our value right? $3000 a year.
Anders Jones: Even though it’s a lot cheaper than what else is out there Still a lot of money. It’s a considered purchase and so um, you know it. It puts the onus on us to be really really? ah ah to deliver a very high high value, high quality service that more than pays for itself every year.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in this case, you know. Also you guys have raised a ah little bit of money. How much money have you guys raised today. Okay.
Anders Jones: Just shy of $200000000 so so quite a lot. Um, and and you know we’ve done that over the last five years so it’s um, you know it’s it’s been a sort of steady trajectory of of. Ah, growth and and and financings. But yeah, we’ve we’ve got quite a bit of money into the company at this point.
Alejandro Cremades: You were quite intentional too when it came to your series a and you got players that were not really you know active in the early stages of things like Warber What Warber pinkous. So how do you guys? you know, really meet.
Anders Jones: Yeah, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: In the middle of the bridge like how were you able to get them enrolled into the future in which the company was living into you know for them to get outside of their investment thesis typical investment thesis and and come and get behind you guys. So.
Anders Jones: Yeah, but Warburg has been an incredible partner to us and sort of staying on the theme of my career a very non-obvious partner to us as well in the in the early days so the the quick story here is we were working with Silicon Valley bank as our banker and they had a. Um, a fintech team who who ah 1 of the guys there Denny Boyle said hey you know there’s this team at warburg pincu that you should really meet and we were basically pre-revenue at this point and so you know I’d heard of them I looked him up and I was like this this does not feel like a great use of time but I’ll do a call. So I talked to one of the the principals there and um, you know we talked for about an hour and at the end of it. He said listen you know we’ve been in financial services. We we have a financial services group and we’ve been in this market for a long time. Um, the way that we work is ah we come up with these sort of. Theses around the future and like here are the trends we’re looking and you know if we find a company that um you know that or here here’s sort of like ten ten things that we think are going to define the future of wealth management and if we find a company that checks the boxes on like 5 or 6 um, you know we’re going to dig in and try and get involved ah to be totally Frank you guys tick the boxes on 10 out of 10 which we’ve we’ve actually never seen before and so at the time we actually weren’t fundraising. We’re probably 9 9 or twelve months away from raising a series a and um.
Anders Jones: And they they basically preempted it and they said look like we believe in this and we want to do it. Um, now this is 2018 so ah, you know the the sort of average series a or the standard series a at that point I think was like 8 to $10000000 and they basically said listen we’re investing out of an $18000000000 fund the smallest check we can write is thirty million bucks um and so you know what could you do with thirty million bucks and that was like and that was like a holy crap moment I remember us sitting in my kitchen table with our Cfo and we’re like okay we got to like tear apart our financial model and think about what we could do with that level of capital um, and and. And you know the way we thought about it was a bit like okay, we’re kind of raising our series a and our series b at the same time and so let’s be thoughtful about how we deploy that over a longer period of time instead of sort of spending it all upfront and um and so we got the deal done. It was definitely you know took it took three months or so to to negotiate. Um. You know they’re they’re used to doing sort of later stage deals with a lot of bells and whistles and you know we were looking for. You know, a 1 ne-page term shoot and and we did manage to you know obviously come to come to terms and honestly if if I had to do it all over again I would work with them 100 % like they’ve been such amazing partners. Especially when you consider that they don’t typically play at the pre-revenue stage and like you know as I’m sure many of the folks that are listening to this podcast know like the early stages are messy, right? It’s like you know you put to put forward these projections. You have no real idea how the projections are going to play out.
Anders Jones: You know you’re running a bunch of experiments you’re trying to figure out. Do do you even have product market fit if you don’t how do you How do you iterate your way there like it’s very hard to build a 5 ive-year forecast. It’s it’s impossible to build a 5 ive-year forecast and I mean we reforecast our our our model so many times and um. You know the level of patience and commitment that they’ve had with us has been has been really extraordinary. so um so yeah that’s I mean if there’s like 1 big takeaway. There. It’s like find an investor who um shares your vision of the future and is willing to stick with you to see it all the way through. Because how you get there is never going to be how you sort of map it out initially and so you got to find someone who like believes enough in the in in the end state that um you know they’re they’re willing to go along for the ride.
Alejandro Cremades: Now for the people that are listening to when it comes to investment thesis and to be able to find people that have the right type of investment teachers that matches whatever you’re envisioning for the business. How should people think about that.
Anders Jones: I’m sorry you just broke up there for a little bit. It’s thinking about what? yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, so the people that are listening now they’re probably wondering you know how to really you know create a streamline process for raising money making sure that they bring the right people for the right resource. How should they think about investment thesis that match.
Anders Jones: Yeah, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: What they’re looking for and and that can you know land them the the perfect fit for that journey.
Anders Jones: So I think this is um, one of the one of the big sort of fallacies in in fundraising is that you should always be in pitch mode. Um, and I think that a lot of founders and a lot of ceos go out there and immediately start pitching investors. And I think that one of the best things that you can do is go into listen mode and so um and and what I mean what I mean by that is like when you’re not actively fundraising. You should take as many meetings with investors as you can that you have time for and we can talk about sort of how you allocate time internally versus externally because that’s always a. Ah, bit of a struggle as a founder. Um, but you know take as as as many meetings as as you can and basically grill investors on what their vision of the future of the market that you’re in is um because I think you’ll discover a lot of things number 1 is you’ll separate the wheat from the chaff. There are a lot of. Ah, vcs out there who basically say like yeah we invest in all these different verticals. Um, and you know fintech is is one of my favorites because like fintech is such a broad. Ah you know it could mean so many things right? There’s like yeah you know where fintech investors like okay, cool like what do you think about? you know the future of consumer. Financial planning or consumer wealth management and you know you get a lot of people who actually don’t have any clue what they’re what what that market you know is is doing and so like you’ll pretty quickly be able to determine who who knows what they’re talking about and and who doesn’t um and then I’d say the second point is like.
Anders Jones: You know if you ask those questions you’re going to get a sense of like who actually has a view that matches with yours. Um, and typically I’ve found like those are the conversations that you want to keep going um and those are going to end up being the people that that do the deal and so if you can find like 4 or 5 of those folks. And um, and kind of you know, keep the conversations warm. Ah you know up until the point where you’re running a process then I think the process falls into place you know relatively quickly and relatively easily. Um, you know I think I think I think like getting to know people over time and building a relationship. Because the other thing too is like once you get into you know once someone invests in your company joins your board like you know it’s cliche and I’m sure you’ve heard you’ve had other guests on here who say this but it’s like you’re getting married for for a while and in fact, it’s actually far more expensive and far more damaging to break up that marriage than you know, like ah like a romantic relationship is um. And so you want to make sure you really know the people you’re you’re getting involved with and the best way to do that is build a relationship with them over time before it gets really serious and before the the money the money changes hands. So yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Now what 1 thing that I wanted to ask you there too is you know? Obviously we’re talking about people and when it comes to people I know that you guys have also built your guys’ company around the idea of remote.
Anders Jones: Yeah, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: And everyone is remote I mean you have like over 250 people there and and basically everyone is somewhere you know across the yeah the us. So so how did you guys go about building this and how do you embrace culture when everyone is remote.
Anders Jones: Yeah that’s a we could talk for a long time about this so when we started the company 1 of our sort of views was we don’t want to be competing for financial advisor talent in like any 1 geography so we want to basically enable. Financial advisors to work from anywhere and we could hire financial advisors across the country. So um, when covid hit we had about 70 employees and half of them were remote half of them were in an in an office so we were already set up for for virtual at that point and like we closed our office on a Thursday we. You know Friday the the next day was business as usual and you know we had I think like we you know we we grew just for context like we we were about $2000000 of ar at that point you know we’re at 35000000 now so you know we’ve had sort of massive growth in the last three years um and and I think being sort of ready to go and not sort of skipping any beats. There was a big driver at that. Um, but you know we now are 3 years into it and we are totally virtual. We’re now up to about 250 people I think at this point only about 14 people who were in the office originally are still at the company. So like the vast majority of our of our team has never worked in an office with another facet team member before um so you know there’s there’s a lot of ways to make this work and I think like what’s interesting is right now we live in this moment of time.
Anders Jones: Where there’s a very very divided opinion on should people be back in an office or should people be working virtually forever. Um, and you know now that like it’s normal to be back in an office again. Um, and I think that like where where what we basically say is um. You know the most important thing is figuring out what is the work that’s being done and is that better suited to being in- personson or in an office or excuse me in-person or or virtual and so there’s certain things that we do that have to be in person so any sort of strategic planning any sort of like creative work around product development. Um. You know any sort of sort of budgeting stuff obviously like you know cross team collaboration we try and do that in person we try and make it so that anyone who’s in those functions doesn’t go for more than two months without being in some sort of in-person environment. Um, and then you know we had folks who are like more of our individual contributors like our financial advisors our salespeople. Um, you know their job is is actually much better suited for working working at home. Um, and so you know we still do get everyone together. We do an annual sort of. All team in-person all- hands called facet fest and then at least once a quarter we get you know smaller folks together or smaller teams together. So so everyone gets in-person interaction and then we make some like very intentional choices about ah virtual meetings on a weekly basis. So you know frequent all hands.
Anders Jones: Like over rotate on transparency and communications. So people know what’s going on the biggest issue with virtual is it just built Silos naturally and so you know so our whole thing is how do we?? How do we break those down I will say like having been a proponent of virtual work for a long time. Um, you know if I had to do it all over Again. I wouldn’t I wouldn’t be quite as at the forefront of virtual as we are now like I would I would push to get everyone in an office it it does make a huge a huge difference in terms of productivity just the ability to get stuff done. What’s that.
Alejandro Cremades: How So how? So how? so unders because you know there’s a lot of people pushing for the virtual side I mean how do you think it would have been different. You know, being in an office space.
Anders Jones: Yeah, so I think there’s um, there’s 2 big things 1 is um, it’s it’s it’s hard to have um, sort of spontaneous interactions right? So like think about you know your. You’re a ah biz ops manager responsible for maintaining our you know our salesforce instance and something weird is going on if you’re in an office you can walk over to the desk of salesperson and watch what happens live um the coordination of trying to do that virtually is a much higher cost. Ah, you have to send a slack. You got to set up a Zoom. You got to coordinate calendars like there’s it’s it’s just there’s a lot more friction. There. Um, and you start you know all those little things add up and it gets it. It. It just things take longer and they get um you know they they get ah you know there’s more of a tax there to make that happen. And then I think the other thing is um, just the building of relationships across different teams doesn’t happen happen as naturally like when I was a live ramp I had friends that I would go out drinking with who were engineers and I was a business development guy if we were virtual I never would have interacted with them and so um, you know so so like that sort of. Um, you know’s it’s a fairly sort of qualitative thing. It’s hard to put ah a um, a measure on it. But you know that um that sort of relationship and trust building doesn’t happen nearly as easily in ah in a virtual environment. So you know those would be the 2 big things I think that are sort of the biggest tax that being said.
Anders Jones: Like you know everyone saves 2 hours a day not commuting. That’s you know, massively accretive too both for you know the the company but also from ah um, you know, ah just a personal well-being standpoint so you know it it definitely kind of kind of cuts both ways.
Alejandro Cremades: So now imagine because obviously all these people you know employees investors. You know they’ve they’ve all been really enrolled into that future that you’re living into now and when it comes to vision I Want to ask you imagine if you were to go to sleep tonight.
Anders Jones: It.
Alejandro Cremades: And you wake up in a world and there’s where the vision of asset is fully realized what does that world look like.
Anders Jones: Yeah, well right now. Um 76% of americans don’t have access to unconflicted and affordable financial advice. Oftentimes you can get 1 but not the other. Um, so so this idea that um you know financial advice can help you live a better life today and and sort of unlock wellness for you today and at the same time set you up for a really bright future. Um, is something that people have been talking about for a long time but no one has really sort of brought that that vision to to light and so for us. Um, you know that’s our big mission is that you know there’s there’s hundreds of millions of americans who desperately need help. Um, but the existing industry isn’t set up to to give them that that help that they need and so you know if I could wake up tomorrow and like you know we’ve we’ve achieved everything. Um, you know we talk about it as earning the right to be the home screen brand for your finances so you know. Every american has ah the facet app on their phone and you know we are proactively helping them make smarter financial decisions on a day-in-dayout basis. You know driven by a combination of expert people and really great technology.
Anders Jones: Um, and you know just sort of general general knowledge that we’re able to to share and and help people live ah a better better financial life. Um, you know at this point we’ve got about 18000 individuals that we work with so you know we obviously still have a long ways to go but of those 18000 ah, 80% have never worked with a financial advisor before so as we sort of see it play out in the you know as as the company has scaled. You know our original thesis that there is an enormous market there that you know that really needs the help. But but you know doesn’t doesn’t have access with. With what exists today you know that that’s now really sort of played out at scale for us and I think that that you know that for us. The future is is is you know continuing to you know to to go there.
Alejandro Cremades: So now let’s talk about the past because we’re talking about the future but I want to talk about the past with a lynch of reflection. Let’s say I put you into a time machine and I bring you back in time I bring you back in time where maybe you know you were now finishing off your chapter of liveramp and you were wondering what to do next.
Anders Jones: Yeah, um.
Anders Jones: Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: And you were maybe like thinking about the entrepreneurial side of things. Let’s say you’re able to have sit down without younger enders and you’re able to give that younger under 1 piece of advice before launching a business. What would that be on why given why you know now.
Anders Jones: Um, as cliche as it sounds maniacal focus on an incredible customer experience. Um, that is something that I think we learned the hard way. Um, we didn’t do right up front and we and we paid for that. Ah, you know up until fairly fairly recently. So when we started the company. Um, you know again, there was this whole thing around like okay, there’s 8000000 households that don’t you know that basically aren’t a good fit for traditional financial advisors but are still working with them anyways. And so one of the big insights we had from that is the cost of human based financial advice is very high and so if we can build technology to lower the cost. Um, then you know there’s much bigger market out there. So the sort of founding of the company was really. Ah, sort of rooted in this sort of cost efficiency and you know a better financial model like a better unit economic model for financial advice. Um you know which is critical right? and and that’s the thing that makes our company function. But you know we. We definitely I think over rotated on how do we make our advisors more efficient instead of how do we create an incredible client experience. Um, and then figure out how to how how to deliver that in a cost effective way.
Anders Jones: And so it wasn’t until the last couple years when we basically took a step back and said okay, um, you know we have 100 financial advisors and we have like a hundred different ways of doing financial advice and so um, you know so how do we create 1 consistent facet client experience that ah so you know. If you onboard as a client tomorrow someone else onboards as a client the next day we know that you know with very little variation. You 2 are getting the exact same experience at a very high quality and if um, you know if if you can’t do that then. Ah, you know number 1 you you just you’re sort of at the the whim of um, you know of of whoever that person talks to that day and hopefully they’re having a good day. Um, but at the same time you also can’t really build technology or process that scales and in fact is cost effective. And so I think like if I had to go back and do it all over again I would have had a maniacal focus on that in you know the first two years of building the company and I think we would have saved a lot of money we would have you know built a higher quality service from from day one and I think we would have been ah a much you know we? we’d probably be farther than than we are today. You know that said I think we learned that lesson you know a couple years ago and the progress we made there is has been pretty good.
Alejandro Cremades: I Love it. So why Unders for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.
Anders Jones: Anders at Facet.com. Um, and you know look we’re we’re hiring. We’re always looking for for new clients obviously new members. Um, you know I would imagine actually a lot of folks who listen to this podcast are probably great fits for ah you know for for our service. Um, but um, yeah, it’s facet.com check us out.
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing! Well hey and thank you so much for being on the deal maker show. It has been an honor to have you with us.
Anders Jones: Thanks so much for having me. This is really fun.
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