Founder: Jon Stein (CEO)
Date launched: 2008
Funding: $45 million
Industries disrupted: Banks, Investing, Personal Finance
Disrupting: Blackrock, Fidelity, JPMorganChase
Competition: Motif Investing, Personal Capital, Wealthfront
Betterment is part of a growing number of investment start-ups that believe they can provide a technology-based alternative to traditional wealth advisors.
Jon Stein, a boyish-looking engineer who majored in economics at Harvard, started the company in 2008 in New York City. He believed that Betterment's cloud-based software could help guide investors to better results than more expensive traditional advisors.
FULL LIST: 2014 CNBC DISRUPTOR 50
Unlike competitor Wealthfront, Betterment has no minimum amount that customers need to invest to get started. The company, with about $650 million of assets under management, charges a fee of .35 percent for those with less than $10,000 invested, and drops off to .15 percent for customers with more than $100,000 under management.
With backing from Citi Ventures, Northwestern Mutual Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and others, the company's goal is to manage $100 billion by 2020.
Who do you dream of putting out of business?
"We'd like to put target date funds, annuities and mutual funds out of business. There's no good reason for them to exist anymore."