Brightside was the idea of health care benefits executive, Shawn Leavitt. Leavitt recognized in industry data that financial stress was leading increased to increased healthcare costs, lost workdays, and lost productivity for employers. The company was founded in 2017 to help the 78% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck achieve better financial health. The platform claims to help decrease healthcare cost by reducing financial related stress that leads to approximately 4.5 percent of all deaths in the United States.
The company announced on June 16, 2020, that it had raised $35.1 million in Series A funding. The funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and saw participation from existing investors Comcast Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and the a16z Cultural Leadership Fund.
Brightside's business model helps employers of small to large companies help their employees improve their financial wellbeing. Brightside connects employees with an in-person financial assistant that helps them find and make better financial decisions based on their needs and financial stresses. Brightside's financial assistants are backed by Brightside's financial rule based system that helps them help employees make better financial choices.
Brightside's platform utilizes behavioral science and artificial intelligence to create a "self driving wallet" that automates day-to-day money management tasks such as figuring out what order to pay bills or finding money to set aside for savings. The platform is designed to help employees pay off debt, increase their credit scores, refinance debt, find government and community benefits, and eliminate fees. Brightside does not make any money from financial products and gives any referral bonuses received back to employees it serves as part of its KickForward program.