'Match.com' for advisers and clients expands to San Francisco

The startup's latest debut follows a successful New York launch

May 16, 2014 @ 11:01 am

By Joyce Hanson

GuideVine, a technology startup that wants to connect advisers with consumers seeking financial advice, started operations on Thursday in San Francisco after a successful New York launch in March.

A prominent feature of GuideVine is video introductions to advisers that best match an online consumer's profile.

In the past two months, consumers have watched a total of 2,000 adviser videos in New York, according to company co-founder Raghav Sharma. With the help of co-founder Kyle Mosley and nine other employees, Mr. Sharma plans to launch GuideVine next in Los Angeles.

The startup receives funding from S Squared Holdings LLC, a funding firm that GuideVine's employees launched along with GuideVine. They began building the platform in April 2013.

“We are self-funded,” Mr. Sharma said. “We don't need external capital. We can self-fund until we are profitable.”

The startup's co-founders met when they were analysts at McKinsey & Co. Mr. Sharma was an associate principal for about nine years in McKinsey's financial services practice. Mr. Mosley was an analyst in McKinsey's retail and consumer practice.

The idea behind GuideVine is to give consumers access to a deep roster of financial advisers so they can find the “right” adviser for their unique personal circumstances.

“They work like Match.com,” said Marie Swift, president and chief executive of Impact Communications Inc. “There's a level of filtering that the consumer can use to drill down and find advisers who might meet their criteria. It's really more than just a geographic directory because there are algorithms built into the screening technology,”

Both Ms. Swift and Kristin Harad, a marketing trainer to entrepreneurial-minded advisers, will provide written content to GuideVine's adviser-facing site.

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