Comcast Ventures invests in Brightside, a new financial health startup
Today, we are announcing the launch of Brightside, a new financial health start-up that aspires to be the one place where employees can access personalized solutions for their financial needs. Financial health is the next frontier in employer health, and leading corporations want to address the trifecta of physical, behavioral and financial health for their workforce. Comcast Corporation is no exception, but what is unique is that Comcast fostered the creation of a company to pursue this opportunity. Brightside is the outgrowth of a deep collaboration between Comcast Ventures and the Comcast Total Rewards team to create a new venture to fill a gap in the marketplace. Comcast not only innovates with its products and services, but it also innovates in its business processes and functions. Comcast Ventures not only invests in start-ups from early to late stage, but it also creates and incubates start-ups from scratch.
According to a recent PWC survey, financial stress is the leading cause of lost productivity in the workplace. We’ve all read the news and heard the personal anecdotes of working Americans struggling with any number of financial challenges. It was Shawn Leavitt, Comcast’s SVP Total Rewards, who believed that employees could utilize a service that advocates for them in their financial decision making and helps them navigate the complicated financial services landscape – much like what Accolade, (another joint project between Comcast Total Rewards and Comcast Ventures), has done for Comcast employees in the healthcare realm.
So Brightside was born. Callum King, my former colleague at Comcast Ventures, was the first person to jump aboard this mission, as he left us to start Brightside. We brought Schwark Satyavolu of Trinity Ventures in as our co-investor, as Schwark is the foremost fin tech investor for this space. We lured Tom Spann aboard as CEO; Tom was cofounder and founding CEO of Accolade and has been serving the Comcast population on the healthcare side for years. And we recruited key founding executives to Brightside such as Jacky Chiu as CTO from Lifelock, Christine Tozzi as CSO from Willis Towers Watson, and Petrina Thompson as Head of Client Service from American Express.
With $4M of seed capital from Comcast Ventures and Trinity Ventures, Brightside is up and running and beginning to offer a financial wellness solution that combines personal assistants, smart technology, and innovative financial products to relieve employee stress. Select Comcast employees are engaging with their Brightside financial assistants today, and we hope to bring this capability to as much of Corporate America as possible. Financial anxiety afflicts too many people and negatively impacts their physical and emotional health. We can, and we will do something about this at Brightside.