Citi Ventures joins $three million spherical in parental expense monitoring app Ensemble
Ensemble, the expense tracking app for co-parents, today announced its launch and a $ 3 million investment in seed capital from TTV Capital, Lerer Hippeau and Citi Ventures.
The fundraiser kicks off Ensemble’s official public launch and will help expand the capabilities of the app to better serve the needs of divorced and separated parents.
The ensemble’s mission is to improve the lives of fellow parents and their children. The app solves an acute pain point for the 50 million+ divorced parents in the US who currently rely on text messages and spreadsheets to keep track of shared expenses for their children. The ensemble’s platform is designed to meet the needs of co-parents, who are often tasked with ongoing emotional conversations about shared finances for their children, ranging from sharing one-time expenses to saving on tuition fees.
After launching on the iOS App Store in Spring 2020, Ensemble saw strong organic growth and referrals from its existing users. This growth, coupled with consistently positive feedback from divorced and separated parents, signals Ensemble’s lead in a large and underserved market. Ensemble users track an average of over $ 1,000 a month in shared expenses for their children, a sizable amount of money for the average American family. This underscores the need for such a solution to manage current expenses.
“What we’ve heard over and over again is that money is often the number one source of arguments among co-parents, even in the most friendly of relationships. In more contentious divorces, it is often used as a lever of power between two emotionally charged individuals who have no other tools at their disposal “said Jacklyn Rome, CEO and founder of the ensemble. “We have set ourselves the goal of developing a product that eases the tense communication about shared finances and meets the differentiated needs of separated parents. During our trip, the way in which co-parents brought us into their financial lives have us are excited and humble to continue improving our offerings to better serve the fellow parents and create a happier home for the next generation. “
When separating, couples face the difficult decision of either figuring out the finances themselves ad hoc or hiring lawyers and going through expensive legal proceedings. Often there is child support, but it only covers food, shelter and clothing, which is roughly half the cost of raising a child. The other half of expenses, including medical bills, after-school activities, transportation, and childcare, are often discussed over text messages or emailed spreadsheets, which can be controversial very quickly. Ensemble reduces tension by streamlining all financial conversations in one app so you can easily enter expenses, see who owes whom, view expense reports, and export their data when required for legal purposes.
The ensemble was founded in 2020 by CEO and serial entrepreneur Jacklyn Rome after launching innovative product launches at Uber and Blue Apron. The company was founded when Jacklyn was Entrepreneur in Residence at Co-Created, a New York-based venture studio, with support and funding from Citi Ventures’ D10X program.
“TTV Capital has been investing in fintech for more than 20 years. We have seen the evolution of consumer behavior and understood that in today’s digital age, people are looking for digital tools to simplify communication and finance,” said Mark Johnson, partner at TTV Capital . “Ensemble offers a sleek and simple platform that addresses these co-parenting needs. We look forward to working with Jacklyn and the entire Ensemble team in scaling our business.”
“At Citi Ventures, we are always looking for entrepreneurs with unique insights into how financial services can better serve consumer needs – and Jacklyn and his team have tapped into an intense pain point in a large, underserved market,” said Luis Valdich, managing director of Venture Investing at Citi Ventures. “We look forward to helping the Ensemble team develop a product that allows users to focus less on financial stress and more on the needs of their families.”
“Ensemble makes it easier for co-parents to approach a traditionally difficult subject – money,” said Caitlin Strandberg, director at Lerer Hippeau. “Ensemble’s intuitive product makes it seamless to manage shared expenses and collaborate when it matters. We appreciate Jacklyn’s mission to create transparency and accountability to improve financial outcomes for modern families.”