Northwestern Mutual’s venture capital arm joined a $3.5 million funding round for U-Nest Inc., a California-based financial services mobile app.
Northwestern Mutual’s investment, made by the company’s Future Ventures Fund, marks the first investment of the $20 million fund, which was created to fund female-founded startups.
U-Nest developed a mobile savings app for families looking to save for college or other educational expenses. The app allows users to create a saving account as well as a monthly contribution plan that meets their saving needs. U-Nest also includes a gifting option, which allows friends and family to contribute to the college saving account.
“U-Nest aligns with our focus on technological disruption and investing in solutions that transform how our clients achieve financial security, as well as our commitment to supporting female-founded startups,” Northwestern Mutual chief product and innovation officer John Grogan said in a statement.
Future Ventures contributed to the seed round along with Los Angeles-based fintech fund Group 11, Unlock Ventures and other VCs and angel investors. U-Nest’s current investors include The Artemis Fund, Draper Dragon Unlock Ventures, Vested Ventures and Band of Angels as well as other individual angel investors.
Capital raised by U-Nest will be used to add employees, accelerate outreach as well as product and partner development.
“As a female founder, it is essential that the capital you raise comes from a source that believes in you,” said Ksenia Yudina, CEO and founder of U-Nest.