One of the reasons that I am so passionate about entrepreneurship is because of my belief that companies can be highly effective agents of change.
This isn’t just a feature of technology companies built in Silicon Valley. Vanguard is an inspiring example, headquartered in Malvern, PA. They are immensely successful — now responsible for over $8 trillion in assets, and yet their impact is far broader than assets alone might suggest. Vanguard makes just a fraction of the revenue ($6.9B) of Fidelity Investments ($24B), but this is because Vanguard focuses more on making money for their customers rather than themselves. And while Vanguard has millions of happy customers, there are tens of millions of investors who are not customers of Vanguard who pay lower fees and have more money in retirement because Vanguard exists. They have forced an entire industry to offer higher quality financial products at lower prices.
Two years ago, Alejandro & I set out to build a category-defining company in a space that has been ignored for far too long. Each step of the way, I shared pieces of our story:
- My original intention to start a company
- Our initial seed round funding
- Our audacious goal to help unlock an additional $1.2 trillion for charity
- The future of fintech (2025)
Today’s release of Daffy for Families is a major milestone in our journey to fulfill that vision.
The Next Generation of Fintech
2022 has been a very difficult year for the economy, and it has been particularly hard on the venture-based startup ecosystem. We feel very fortunate to have raised our $17.1M Series A in February, giving us ample time to invest in our platform.
The way forward will not be based on cloning the strategies that worked in the previous wave of fintech, but we can learn a lot from past technology transitions to see where fintech is headed. In particular, there are a lot of common attributes between how we navigated the transition between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 after the internet bubble burst in 2000.
Three key trends will define the next wave of breakthrough products:
- Single Player → Multiplayer
- Millennial focus → Multigenerational
- Replicated products → Novel products & services
Daffy for Families is the first feature that we’ve shipped that illustrates all three.
Giving Together is Better Than Giving Alone
Unlike most financial products and services, giving is fundamentally better when done with others. We learn from each other, we challenge each other, and we inspire each other.
But why does every donor-advised fund have to look like a retirement account?
Why can’t grandparents engage with their children and grandchildren around the causes and organizations they support? Why can’t children learn from their parents about how and why they give?
Alejandro & I are both parents, and as a parent, you learn a few hard-earned lessons. One of those lessons is the simple fact that actions speak louder than words. It’s one thing to tell your children that reading is important, but it’s a very different thing for your children to see you read.
The move from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 was based on fundamental insights like these, and it’s the reason why LinkedIn does not look like Monster.com.
Over the past decade, I have been floored by how many intelligent and passionate people work to support charitable organizations, and yet it has become increasingly clear that they are frustrated. Frustrated by the slow pace of technology. Frustrated by the inability to help people give. Frustrated by an industry driven by a business model that focuses too much on dollars and not enough on people.
They are looking for something new — an agent of change, a new platform, a new model that can unlock the way people connect with the causes and organizations they support.
We think Daffy could be that platform.
Leadership Through Product
With Daffy for Families, we are asking the industry a simple question: Why don’t you let families give together?
Almost every major consumer platform has family sharing, and yet Fidelity, Schwab, and yes, even Vanguard haven’t invested in this basic capability.
My best guess is that their business model, which is based on charging a fee based on a percentage of assets, makes features like this look expensive. After all, having more people on a fund to help inspire each other to give will likely lead to more money going to charity and less money sitting in funds earning fee revenue.
Daffy was built to be different. We have a simple mission: help people be more generous, more often. We are also quite proud to have a business model that rewards having more people involved with giving rather than more dollars sitting in accounts.
It has been just one year since we launched Daffy, and yet already we are already shipping features that may take the industry years to copy.
We can’t do it alone. Every member who joins our platform helps force the industry to change. Together, we believe that we can unlock the generosity of millions, and in the process, free up trillions of dollars for worthy causes and organizations.
Check out Daffy for Families. Set up a fund. Invite your loved ones.
Join us. 💗