Careers at NerdWallet
NerdWallet provides free comparison tools and advice to make it simple to choose the best financial products and services and tackle major life goals, like buying a house, saving for retirement or paying off student debt.
It was a question from his older sister – about which credit card to buy – that led NerdWallet’s founder Tim Chen to wonder why there wasn’t a well-designed, transparent and unbiased website that could answer his family’s financial questions.
It was 2009 and Chen was one of the victims of the global financial crisis, losing his job at Perry Capital after a wave of layoffs hit Wall Street hedge funds. Prompted by his sister’s question, Chen, who had a long-held aspiration to become an entrepreneur, set out on a quest to build a credit card database. With $800 in hand, he recruited childhood friend Jake Gibson to join the new venture. Gibson too was a finance professional; the pair had lived on the same Murray Hill intersection in New York until the layoffs hit Chen (Gibson had been spared).
Described as the “Yelp for finances”, NerdWallet’s first product was a website that provided comparative information on credit cards from ten major banks. The availability of affordable tools like cloud storage and pay-as-you-go subscriptions, allowed NerdWallet to take the lean start-up approach in its early years, bypassing the need for seed funding.
The company’s focus on credit cards became a lucrative source of revenue as there was a burgeoning market for online credit card marketing. Banks would pay anywhere from zero to hundreds of dollars to partners for every new customer referred. This source of revenue allowed NerdWallet to remain a consistently profitable business and expand into new areas such as investing, mortgages, loans and insurance. A distinctive feature of the business remains the hundreds of journalistic articles published by NerdWallet’s army of writers, offering answers to a range of financial questions. These articles help NerdWallet to consistently show up at the top of search engine results for personal financial advice.
By 2014, NerdWallet underwent an internal restructuring that brought in new talent. Chen hired Dan Yoo, LinkedIn’s head of business operations, as the new Chief Operating Officer and Flo Thinh as VP of Talent. In 2015, the firm raised $69 million from investors, during its first round of funding, and received a $36 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank. NerdWallet now has a valuation of $550 million and plans to expand its workforce of 285 employees and reach $100 million in annual revenue by the end of 2016.
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