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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 20, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Ex-Microsofties rev online finance venture

Seattle-based FutureAdvisor, a free online financial advice service started in 2010, is emerging from its limited beta period today and is now broadly available.

The company’s also announcing that it received seed funding from Sequoia Capital and several Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, in addition to a small amount of startup capital it recevied last year from the Y Combinator incubation program.

FutureAdvisor was strarted by Jon Xu and Bo Lu, veterans of the Windows Phone team at Microsoft. They founded the Pioneer Square-based company in 2010 and now have eight employees.

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Lu said they were longtime investors whose friends asked for investment advice often. Professional advisors often have high asset requirements, so the pair decided to build a software-based advice service open to anyone. They’ve been offering the service in beta test mode for the last six to eight months.

The service (pictured) is free but the company charges customers who want access to its on-staff, certified financial advisors and other premium services. Adding a yearly video call with an advisor costs $49 per year and a plan with unlimited calls with advisors costs $195 per year.

Investors in addition to Sequioa include Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppelman and Keith Rabois, chief operating officer at Square.

Perhaps to emphasize its security around financial information, the company would not disclose the amount of funding it received.

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