Over half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. We’re trying to fix that, by building new financial services that make it easier to make ends meet, pay down debt, and save money. And we’re doing it as a transparent, straightforward business that only profits when our customers do, too.
We sell to employers to offer Even as a benefit. Employers offer Even to their people; in return, employers save money because Even improves employee retention.
Positive impact on the world — In America, 77 million people spend $100 billion every year just to make ends meet. $100b for things that purely extract value. Things like payday loans. Overdraft fees. Low balance fees. Late bill fees. Do the math, and you arrive at a startling realization: the average working class American loses 10–20% of their income to these products. It is expensive to be poor, and we're working to change that.
Great strategy to acquire users — From day one, we focused on building a clear path to distribution - because too many new financial products have been killed by the incredibly high cost of customer acquisition.
We distribute Even through employers, who offer it as a benefit to their employees. This accomplishes a few things: it decreases our customer acquisition cost, it gives our company stable recurring revenue, and it decreases the cost to the employees we serve. For these reasons, Even has excellent unit economics and is already profitable.
Large customer on board — In December of 2017, Walmart announced that they were offering Even as a benefit to all 1.4m of their associates nationwide. Overnight, we were working at massive scale - and we're growing the engineering team so we can manage that scale and continue to rapidly improve the product.
Structure: Our team is built around autonomy and ownership. Engineers are responsible for shipping end-to-end: this includes meeting with stakeholders (like product, design, or customer support) and monitoring features in production.
Processes: Teams operate however works best for them, but in general we use low-overhead project planning processes. Weekly sprint planning and standups act as an opportunity to align as a team, but engineers are responsible for defining the vision and execution plan for their own features.
We employ standard engineering best practices like code review, continuous testing & deployment, consolidated task tracking, and runtime monitoring/alerting.
Modeling people’s financial lives & automatically helping them plan. Every person’s situation is unique, and tricky situations abound (e.g. you just lost your job, or hit a large medical bill), so we’re regularly revisiting our abstractions and approaches.
Making sense of messy financial data. Transactions often have garbled names; recurring bills may have inconsistent schedules; and we may not have access to the full picture. We use a mix of hand-tuned heuristics and sophisticated machine learning models to help us here.
Building a product that’s reliable, secure, fast, and delightful — without sacrificing rapid iteration and experimentation. This requires a dedication to laying and maintaining a great foundation.
Build a system for mapping peoples' paychecks to their bills.
You would implement the world's first completely automated financial advisor.
You would build realtime enrichment pipelines to infuse all of Even's product features with intelligence.
We've made an intentional choice to build a small, highly autonomous team. This means minimizing coordination costs while having high expectations for our individual output and ownership over the problems we work on.
Every Even employee has as $100/mo stipend they can use for any health/wellness related activity.
Our approach to free food is straightforward: healthy, basic items (yogurt, jerky, coffee, water) stocked at all times and available to everyone. Catered lunches, on the other hand, are one of our anti-perks (https://blog.even.com/anti-perks-4e2e49e80983), a carefully defined list of perks we don't provide at Even. In the case of catered lunch, we instead choose to use lunchtime as a chance to take a walk, explore our neighborhood, and support the Oakland community.
Plenty of startups institute
flexible vacation policies - we add to that by instituting a minimum (10 days annually), with additional clearly defined times set aside for parental leave and other needs.
Beautiful is subjective, but there's less subjective research on what makes a good work environment: varied/flexible workspaces (from private offices for those who want them, to shared common areas for communal meals and discussion), natural light, and working windows for fresh air. Our office has all of those qualities, in a (subjectively!) beautiful early 20th-century building in Oakland.
We trust our team to work at the times they are most productive. Hours spent in the office is a terrible proxy for productivity.
We have a $5000/year educational stipend, available to all members of the team. So far, people have used this stipend toward everything from technical conferences to management education and coaching.
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