Personally, I would rather floss my teeth with a Swiss army knife than figure out my personal finances. That’s probably not surprising. Not many jump for joy when we’re budgeting everyday expenses, strategizing investment opportunities, watching our 401Ks plummet, or choosing a retirement fund. But this unwillingness to grapple with personal finance turns out to be a real problem. According to a MassMutual survey only 26 percent of females feel comfortable dealing with finances, yet these same women are on track to be the family breadwinners in the next 15 years.
Vying to be part of the solution, DailyWorth, a money management site targeted to women, looked to address this problem with this week’s soft launch of its redesigned finance site.
While other sites like Suze Orman or Ms.Money are strictly targeted towards helping women manage money or provide a service for a fee, DailyWorth’s site goes one step further, by being a personal finance site but also writing about more general issues like paying kids for grades and getting the best return on investment for your designer bag. As long as there’s a money angle, the content is fluid.
The site launched five verticals with a focus on wealth creation: plan, earn, spend, learn, and live. Each is segmented into smaller sectors, like investment and tech, and provides women “news you can use” pieces, along with personal tales and financial lessons from women. The goal is simple – provide resources and information to help make the world of finance less frightening for women. DailyWorth’s founder, Amanda Steinberg, says she doesn’t just want to help women manage money but also to inspire “a new breed of ambitious women.”
Founded in 2009, DailyWorth arose from Steinberg’s own frustrations. When she was in her 20s, Steinberg says she earned $200,000 as a Web engineer but still couldn’t afford her mortgage. She was living way above her means and needed to rein in her finances. Kiplinger and Money didn’t speak her language; she found “both boring and irrelevant to her life” and looked to create a niche in the finance sector focused on women.
Originally, DailyWorth’s business model was based on daily emails to subscribers providing tips, trends, and insights, while also providing an online presence of archived information. DailyWorth acquired subscribers at low cost and sold sponsored content and sponsorships to advertisers. It was the Daily Candy of finance. But after 15 percent month over month growth and achieving her goal of 500,000 subscribers Steinberg wondered what to do next.
“Listening to readers and advertisers, I realized email is great in terms of establishing a business but it was really time for us to expand,” she says.
While it generates revenue through the traditional, and sometimes looked down upon, route of online ads, the site has also partnered with Fidelity and Schwab for sponsored posts in conjunction with offering women e-learning classes at $99 for four-week Facebook sessions taught by big guns like MoneyZen’s Manish Thakor and money expert Carmen Wong Ulrich.
Backed by friends and family money and two rounds of financing from investors like Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures and Dave McClure’s 500 Startups, DailyWorth has raised over $3 million and will soon close its fourth round. Steinberg wouldn’t disclose revenue but acknowledges that DailyWorth is not profitable.
While DailyWorth provides useful services and insightful articles (like how one woman survived bankruptcy), the support stories, advice content, and “me too” ethos of its community probably won’t help me with my mountain of debt, which I accumulated from paying for graduate school. For that, I’ll need a miracle, which, unfortunately, DailyWorth doesn’t offer.