I’m happy to announce today that Splitwise has raised $1.4MM in new seed funding from leading tech investors. Raising outside money means we can continue to invest in building the world’s best product for reducing the stress of money in relationships. Hooray!
We’re using that money to hire talented people to help us make Splitwise even better. If you are a software engineer who wants to work on a product you love, please hop on over to our jobs page.
Splitwise has been a labor of love for the founders for nearly four years. This year has been incredible: Splitwise users have shared over $1B in expenses so far in 2014, just counting US dollars. We’ve been featured alongside companies with dozens or hundreds of engineers. I’ve found that most users are surprised to learn we currently have only two engineers, and that our CTO is also our lead designer.
Our goal for Splitwise is to remove the stress of sharing money in our most important relationships. How does this translate into a product roadmap? While still being annoyingly vague, allow me to explain our priorities for the coming years.
Make Splitwise faster, with less data entry
We’ve tried to make Splitwise as easy as possible to use, and we’re pleased that most users are happy with the apps. But we will go further, much further. We won’t stop until cranky technology-haters think Splitwise is the fastest way to deal with relationship finances.
This effort will be on many fronts, including streamlined design, performance improvements, automatic expense detection, and partnerships with other companies. We’ll continue to listen to user feedback closely to see what’s working and what’s not.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter, Angry Birds, and many other products, we are not trying to optimize to get you to spend more time in our apps. We want you to spend less time being stressed about money! This is an important part of our vision.
We know we are doing our jobs when you are happy and trust that Splitwise has the correct information when you need it. We will keep our commitment to being extremely anti-spam and only asking for your attention when it’s important.
Make it easier to communicate about money
We designed Splitwise to be a great way to organize shared expenses for roommates, and that quickly grew to include travel groups. But users have started using Splitwise in ways we hadn’t thought of. We’ve heard through surveys that co-workers are using Splitwise to track lunches, and that friends who lend each other money privately use Splitwise to keep track of debts, interest, and payments.
And to our great surprise, couples have flocked to Splitwise to keep track of relationship expenses. This is a whole new level of responsibility for Splitwise, and is the most important money relationship in many people’s lives. This is awesome and we take couples finances very seriously. We will be building better communication tools for couples.
Last year, we introduced comments to Splitwise, and this has become a very popular feature. But there are many ways we still need to improve communication. We feel invitations are still too tricky to accept on our mobile apps. People end up with multiple accounts for different email addresses. Totals and summaries are hard to share, and support for third-party login and contact integration has been inconsistent. Balance reminders are sent one at a time via email only. These are all issues we are focused on fixing.
Splitwise is not a payments company. We’re a network that helps people manage money-relationships. But payments are an important component of helping people manage money, and we want to make it easier to communicate about payments. This will be in the form of improving which payment methods are accepted (currently, only PayPal and Venmo in the US) and making it easier to see what payment methods a friend prefers.
One thing users often ask us about is how we make money. This is a fair question and I want to address it head on.
Splitwise does show some advertisements and we make money from them. We also have a $1+/mo premium version that many users have subscribed to. This pro version adds just a few beta features (expense search, currency conversion, and improved charts) for now, and only on our website. These limitations are why we have not advertised it more aggressively. I suspect most pro users who have subscribed so far have done so to show their support for what we are doing. Splitwise is immensely grateful to you!
We plan to introduce more pro features in time, and to highlight the pro version a bit more. We also plan to introduce other services that make Splitwise money while helping users. But primarily we are focused on building a free service that the whole world should use, because that’s what will make Splitwise the most valuable for our users.
It’s unintuitive to run a for-profit business that is focused on a free product, and it’s not for the faint-of-heart. But we think it’s in our business interest to focus on helping the largest number of people possible. That’s why we are happy to be working with great investors, and to keep investing in our product, like many of the great internet companies we admire.
Thank you so much for being Splitwise users. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, which reaches our whole team. Or if you’re interested in joining us, email email@example.com.