Northwestern Mutual acquires LearnVest, the financial planning startup

March 25, 2015, 8:16 PM UTC
Courtesy Learnvest

Betting big on personalized financial planning, financial services company Northwestern Mutual will acquire startup LearnVest for what sources say is more than $250 million in cash.

Founded by Alexa von Tobel, a Harvard Business School dropout (and 2014 Fortune 40 Under 40 pick), LearnVest launched in 2009 to help women become more financially savvy. The company eventually broadened its service to include men and women.

LearnVest’s basic resources are free. Its customers can pay extra—$299—to engage a financial planner who will give them advice about spending, budgets, investing, and more. With about 1.5 million users, and tens of thousands of paid subscribers, LearnVest carved a niche in the financial planning business by attracting young professionals who sought a more modern way to manage and budget their money.

Northwestern Mutual was an investor in the New York startup, which had raised a total of $75 million in venture capital from the likes of American Express (AXP) and Accel Partners. The company was reportedly valued at more than $250 million in its last funding round in 2014.

Northwestern Mutual, which has more than $90 billion in assets under management, found LearnVest’s approach to financial education to be complementary to its existing services, which include financial planning and insurance.

LearnVest isn’t the first web-based financial planning company to be acquired by a larger financial services company. In 2009, Intuit (INTU) acquired online money management startup Mint for approximately $117 million.

Previous coverage of LearnVest on

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