Ensemble, the expense tracking app for co-parents, announced its launch today and a $3 million seed investment by TTV Capital, Lerer Hippeau, and Citi Ventures.
The fundraise kicks off Ensemble's official public launch and will help expand the app's capabilities to better serve the needs of divorced and separated parents.
Ensemble's mission is to improve the lives of co-parents and their children. The app solves an acute pain point for the 50+ million divorced parents in the United States, who currently rely on text messages and spreadsheets to track shared expenses for their children. Ensemble's platform was designed to meet the needs of co-parents who are often tasked with ongoing emotional conversations around shared finances for their children, ranging from splitting one-off expenses to saving for college tuition.
After launching in the iOS App Store in the Spring of 2020, Ensemble saw strong organic growth and referrals from its existing users. This growth, paired with consistent positive feedback from divorced and separated parents, signals Ensemble's lead in a large and underserved market. Ensemble's users, on average, are tracking over $1,000 per month in shared expenses for their children, a substantial amount of money for the average American family. This underscores the need for a solution like this to help manage ongoing expenses.
"What we've heard time and time again is that money is often the #1 cause of arguments among co-parents, even in the most amicable relationships. In more contentious divorces, it often gets used as a power lever among two emotionally charged individuals with no other tools at their disposal," said Jacklyn Rome, CEO and founder of Ensemble. "We set out to build a product that eases tense communication about shared finances and serves the nuanced needs of separated parents. Throughout our journey, we have been inspired and humbled by the way co-parents have brought us into their financial lives and are eager to continue advancing our offerings to better serve co-parents and create happier homes for the next generation."
When separating, couples face the difficult choice of either figuring out finances ad hoc on their own or hiring lawyers and going through an expensive legal process. Oftentimes there is a child support payment in place, however child support only covers food, shelter, and clothing, which is roughly half the cost of raising a child. The other half of expenses, including medical bills, extracurricular activities, transportation, and childcare, are often discussed over text messages or emailed spreadsheets, which can get contentious quite quickly. Ensemble reduces tension by streamlining all financial conversations in an app which allows them to easily enter expenses, see who owes who, view spending reports and export their data if needed for court purposes.
Ensemble was founded in 2020 by CEO and serial entrepreneur Jacklyn Rome following her stints leading innovative new product launches at Uber and Blue Apron. The company was founded while Jacklyn was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Co-Created, a venture studio based in New York, with support and funding from Citi Ventures' D10X program.
"TTV Capital has been investing in fintech for 20+ years. We've seen the evolution of consumer behavior and understand that in today's digital age, people are craving digital tools to simplify communication and finances," said TTV Capital Partner Mark Johnson. "Ensemble provides a sleek and simple platform that addresses these needs for co-parents. We are excited to partner with Jacklyn and the entire Ensemble team as they scale the business."
"At Citi Ventures, we're always looking for entrepreneurs with unique insights of how financial services can better serve consumer needs -- and Jacklyn and team have been able to tap 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 supporting the Ensemble team as it continues to develop a product that enables its users to focus less on the stress of finances and more on their families' needs."
"As family childcare expenses balloon, Ensemble makes it easier for co-parents to approach a traditionally difficult topic - money," said Caitlin Strandberg, Principal at Lerer Hippeau. "Ensemble's intuitive product makes it seamless to manage and collaborate on shared expenses when it matters most. We're excited about Jacklyn's mission to bring transparency and accountability to improve financial outcomes for modern families."