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34. Wealthfront

A better way to manage wealth

Founders: Andy Rachleff, Daniel Carroll
Date launched: 2011
Funding: $129.5 million
Industries disrupted: Financial services, investing

Wealthfront, the Palo Alto-based automated online investment services company, has passed the $2 billion mark as defined by assets under management. That's impressive for a company that was doing one-quarter of that a year ago. Wealthfront is setting itself apart from other financial services firms and robo-advisors by stressing the intelligence of its own proprietary algorithms to select low-cost exchange-traded funds. The minimum account size is just $5,000, and the company will manage the first $10,000 for free. After that it costs just 0.25 percent per year.

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Wealthfront is banking on the belief that smart, math-savvy millennials—whose net worth, according to the company, is projected to reach $7 trillion in the next five years—will trust the company's algorithms to manage their money better than a more expensive, human advisor. Accounts are accessible 24/7 from any computer, tablet or smartphone.

The company's management team is chock full of tech talent, led by CEO Adam Nash, who helped build LinkedIn and eBay. So far, the company has raised $129.5 million from venture firms Index Ventures, Greylock and Ribbit Capital.

Adam Nash, CEO of Wealthfront
Source: Wealthfront
Adam Nash, CEO of Wealthfront
"Make no mistake: Charles Schwab would not have an automated service for their customers in 2015 if Wealthfront didn't exist. We believe that within 10 years, all investors will be using some form of automated investment service, and that's directly because of Wealthfront's leadership in this category." -Adam Nash, Wealthfront CEO

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