Startup Company Proving that Mobile App Can Displace Category Dominators in Traditional Web

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Just because a website becomes the dominant internet source for a particular service doesn’t mean a similar new business can’t gain attention online. For example, Mint is the primary site for tacking consolidated views of various investment accounts. Although Mint’s popularity has crushed competitors, startup operation Personal Capital is gaining traction for its variation on personal finance. One of the avenues it has deployed is a mobile application.

Personal Capital was founded in 2009. The CEO is Bill Harris, former CEO of both PayPal and Intuit. To start the company, Harris and his colleagues gradually added $2,000,000 of their own money. Eventually, they received $25,000,000 of venture capital.

The iPad application is aimed at attracting users looking for a mobile option to track finances. Mobile consumers are not always retaining services from traditional website operators. Also, a company with an iPad app is exposed to a new group of people beyond typical web users.

More than a tracking device, the Personal Finance app gives detailed performance data. A feature even exists for clarifying employer stock options. This element provides a clear view of both vested and unvested options in multiple companies. The founders of Personal Capital are clearly building a product for their own needs and permitting the public to receive the same benefits.

Personal Capital has attracted 10,000 users just through its website. But greater market penetration awaits the mobile category. Harris considers Personal Capital as mostly a company delivering financial services. The iPad app to aggregate investment accounts is free along with the associated analysis tools. Users only pay if they want help from anyone on the company’s staff of registered investment advisers.

This makes the company more focused on providing personalized interactions. The technology is only part of the service. A financial advisory option is beyond the scope of Mint’s website or Intuit’s Quicken personal finance software.