Guideline Technologies has raised a $2m seed round to improve 401(k) plans. The company is aimed at working with SMBs to make 401(k) plans affordable for employees. Busque believes there are three steps required for success (1) Remove actively managed funds (2) Replace paper with a simple and clean interface (3) Fix the onboarding process. Busque also believes the market opportunity is massive as, "401(k) plans held an estimated $4.4 trillion in U.S. retirement assets as of June 2014. Small businesses alone – those with between one and 500 employees, generate $12 billion in administrative fees."
According to Government Accountability Office testimony from 2013, numerous reasons explain such low figures. Sometimes, the employer plans of small businesses are too expensive. Sometimes, employees worry they aren’t making enough money to contribute to retirement savings. Often, too, retirement plans are so confusing that employees – younger staffers especially — decide they’re not worth the hassle. Enter Guideline Technologies, Busque’s four-month-old, San Francisco-based company, which has just raised $2 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, SV Angel, Red Swan Ventures, BoxGroup, Xfund and 500 Startups. Its big idea: To work with small and mid-size employers in making 401(k) plans affordable for employees — as well as dead simple to set up.