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Thursday, February 22, 2024

AI-Pushed Startup Benjamin to Shut


Regardless of its early and pioneering entry into the world of AI-driven expertise for RIA companies, Benjamin, an automatic enterprise assist system for advisory outlets, will stop operations on the finish of day Friday, in keeping with its founder and CEO, Matt Reiner.

“After having gone by means of a course of to determine potential options for the enterprise, we now have determined to stop operations on the shut of enterprise in the present day,” Reiner wrote in an e mail to WealthManagement.com.

Reiner, along with being a expertise entrepreneur, has been an advisor for greater than a decade at Capital Funding Advisors and Wela Methods.

“Though it isn’t the conclusion we desired, we hope that we pushed the trade ahead a small bit and in a optimistic method—hopefully we initiated some differentiated views with companies’ views of workflows, automation and effectivity,” he wrote.

He stated along with challenges rising the startup’s buyer base, shifting market dynamics and problem round discovering capital contributed to the choice.

Launched in 2019 as a software meant to streamline back-office workflows for monetary advisors, the startup pivoted in late 2020 to develop into a synthetic intelligence–-driven end-to-end enterprise assist system for RIA companies—or as the corporate described it on its web site: “The world’s first A.I. assistant created for advisors by advisors.”

“My dream for Benjamin is to scale the advisor’s skill to be the quarterback for every thing, the central connective tissue of all these events that will make up an advisory agency’s holistic follow,” he stated.

That might transcend the core actions of economic planning, CRM and portfolio administration to incorporate accounting, property planning and every thing else, he stated.

In early 2021, the startup obtained an preliminary spherical of $750,000 in funding led by trade veteran Bob Conchiglia, who additionally joined Benjamin’s govt advisory board.

In September 2021, the platform received a Wealth Administration Trade Award within the class of Enterprise Help Programs | Workflow Automation. 

Reiner himself was named certainly one of WealthManagement.com’s Ten to Watch in 2022.

And whereas it stays unclear how a lot extra funding Benjamin lastly obtained, the startup introduced that two judges within the April 2022 fourth season of the ScratchWorks fintech accelerator competitors had agreed to speculate.

Marty Bicknell of Mariner Wealth Advisors and Michael Nathanson of The Colony Group each agreed to develop into traders in Benjamin on the spot for a negotiated fairness funding, topic to remaining phrases and agreements. In previous seasons that funding ranged from $250,000 to upwards of $5 million.

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