Human Interest raises $200M at a $1B valuation, plans for an IPO – TechCrunch

August 4, 2021

Less than six months after raising $55 million in a Series C round of funding, SMB 401(k) provider Human Interest today announced it has raised $200 million in a round that propels it to unicorn status.

The Rise Fund, TPG’s global impact investing platform, led the round and was joined by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The financing included participation from new investor Crosslink Capital and existing backers NewView Capital, Glynn Capital, U.S. Venture Partners, Wing Venture Capital, Uncork Capital, Slow Capital, Susa Ventures and others. 

Over the past year, the San Francisco-based company has raised $305 million. With the latest financing, it has now raised a total of $336.7 million since its 2015 inception.

The company admittedly has an IPO in its sights, as evidenced by the appointment of former Yodlee CFO Mike Armsby to the role of CFO at Human Interest. It’s targeting a traditional IPO sometime in 2023, with execs saying the target is to have “$200 million+ in run-rate revenue before going public.” Currently, it’s at “tens of millions of run-rate revenue” now, and adding millions of new revenue each month.

Human Interest’s digital retirement benefits platform allows users “to launch a retirement plan in minutes and put it on autopilot,” according to the company.  It also touts that it has eliminated all 401(k) transaction fees.

Demand for 401(k)s by SMBs appears to be at an all-time high, with Human Interest reporting that its sales tripled over the last year. The company has also more than doubled its headcount over the last 12 months to 350 employees.

The startup said it is seeing strong adoption in verticals that have not previously had retirement benefits, including construction, retail, manufacturing, restaurants, nonprofits and hospitality. For example, over the past three quarters, Human Interest has seen 4.5x customer growth in the restaurant sector. Since the start of the pandemic, Human Interest has experienced 2x higher enrollment growth among hourly workers than salaried workers, and hourly worker assets have tripled.

“Promoting financial health is a core investment pillar for The Rise Fund. Human Interest delivers one of the most compelling solutions to the persistent problem that roughly half of Americans will not have enough savings when they reach retirement age,” said Maya Chorengel, co-managing partner at The Rise Fund, in a written statement. “Despite recent legislation, primarily at the state level, legacy programs have not, to date, produced the same participant outcomes as Human Interest.”

The company said it will be using its new capital to expand its network of integrations and partnerships with financial advisers, benefits brokers and payroll companies. It also expects to, naturally, do some hiring –– another 200 employees by year’s end, primarily in its product, engineering and revenue teams.

The 401(k) for SMB space is heating up as of late. In June, competitor Guideline also raised $200 million in a round led by General Atlantic. 

Additional details around the IPO and revenue were added post-publication.