Get your future salary today

🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week: Pull

✍️ Notes from the Editors

If you’re one of the 106 new readers who joined us last week—welcome! We’re excited to have you here, and even more excited to share some incredible companies with you.

On that note, we sat through six hours of Y Combinator’s W23 Demo Day to bring you some of our favorite startups from this batch. Take a second to browse through our list of faves on Twitter. Side note: did you know this batch marks the 18th anniversary of Y Combinator? Hope we didn’t make a lot of people feel too old…

Today’s startup comes to us from an IRL meetup! We met Pull’s founder Chandrika at our Unicorner SF founder meetup in February. Great vibes naturally bring great people. If you’re an awesome founder with an awesome vision, keep an eye out for another one of our awesome events, soon to be announced. 👀

- Arek and Ethan 🦄

Get your future salary today

Pull is a platform that companies can use to offer access to future earnings as an employee benefit. This lets employees access money sooner, allowing them to invest earlier, put a down payment on a house, or even just have access to more funds for day-to-day use, and also serves as a great employee retention tool.

🔗 Check it out: pullnow.com


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💰 Business Model

Pull is a financial well-being platform that lets employees of participating companies get advances on any part of their earnings, specifically salary and bonus. It charges a 3% fee on the salary advance to the employee right now, which is much lower than the current rate of inflation. Assuming the S&P maintains above a conservative 4% return, it’s beneficial to get an advance if your company partners with Pull. Its goal is to build out employer partnerships so that employers can offer advances to their employees with no fees.

📈 Traction and Fundraising

  • Raised a pre-seed round of $1.45 million led by Quiet Capital as well as other strategic angels

  • Will be going out to raise a seed round in a few months

👫 Founders

  • Chandrika Maheshwari, CEO: Previously Product Manager @ Plaid, Senior Product Manager @ DocuSign, Product Marketing Manager @ Google, Senior Associate @ Bain & Company, MBA @ MIT Sloan, Information Systems Master’s @ Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani

  • Darshil Patel, Founding Software Engineer: Previously Software Developer Intern @ Broadcast, Backend Developer @ Shopify, iOS Engineer Intern @ Deloitte

💼 Opportunities

Interested in finding your next job? Interested in hiring talent from the Unicorner community?

🔮 Our Analysis

There are many expensive life events: having a kid, home renovation, injury, car accidents, illness, etc. These are all events that can be financially taxing, especially with no savings. According to CNBC, 63% of Americans in 2022 were living paycheck to paycheck, and any one of these events could easily put a person in debt. As Founder and CEO of Pull Chandrika Maheshwari told us, when she moved from India, she was astonished at the lack of digital financial infrastructure in the United States. She then worked at Plaid, where she really resonated with the company’s goal of unlocking financial freedom for everyone. Her experience there led her to start Pull, which aims to give people not just money, but ways of using the money effectively.

Pull aims to address the lack of financial benefits and the general lack of financial freedom in the U.S. through its salary advances for its users. Pull is good for companies because it promotes financial wellness while serving as an employee retention tool. Assuming the fees stay the same, these advances are useful because they are lower than inflation and typical S&P growth, so one could use an advance for not only big life events, but just for typical daily use, or to keep in their bank account. An example use case is sales employees earning a commission at the end of each quarter, who can, using Pull, split that up into a 3-month advance, which could be vital to their financial success.

Maheshwari notes that her goal for the company is to be an end-to-end platform for financial benefits. There are plenty of other financial institutions that could partner with Pull to help them reach this goal, like Better.com, so users with Pull-enabled companies can get better rates. Amazon just partnered with Better to allow employees to pledge equity toward their home down payment, so this idea doesn’t seem too far off reality. Ultimately, with the right development, Pull could truly alleviate the burden of finances for families.

📚 Further Reading

Written by Jeremy Baum

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