Realworld has a big vision – founder and CEO Genev Ryan Belair told me that his goal is to “simplify adulthood”. And the New York startup has raised $ 3.4 million in seed funding to do so.
Apparently this is something that Ballair struggled with in his early twenties. Despite being a lawyer with an MBA, she said she has found herself “completely unprepared for all these real-world things,” whether she is locating housing or heath insurance – something that I’m sure I can relate to the form.
“There’s tons of material out there that you can ask to fill out this form to sign up for a credit card, but you don’t know what you know,” she said. “There is not one place that defines adulthood.”
At the same time, there are online services that can make aspects of adulthood easier – be it lemonade for insurance, better for investment, or ZocDoc for doctor appointments. But again, finding these services and just knowing that you should use them can be a challenge, so Bellaire said that Realworld is meant to serve as a “single point of entry”.
To do this, the startup has created over 90 step-by-step playbooks, covering everything from budgets to salary negotiations. Belair said that these are designed for members of Gen Z who are just leaving college and entering the workforce.
Of course, even if you focus on a specific age group, different Twentysomethings will have different backgrounds, income levels, and challenges. Bellaire said the Playbook would adapt its instructions based on the user’s specific goals and circumstances, but she also argued that Realworld’s “starter pack” of 15 Playbooks included the things that every adult should include. One has to be disposed of in some form, such as budgeting, finding an apartment and understanding income tax.
The startup plans to release its first mobile app next month, and aims to build in what Belair described as a “platform, marketplace and community”. Playbook is a big piece of the platform, and ultimately, can also include a marketplace for RealWorld services that will help you meet those adult goals, as well as a community where users share their knowledge and advice.
Realworld initially charged for access to their playbook, but they are now available for free. Instead, Belair said the company could charge membership fees for additional facilities and for “concierge-oriented support”.
“It’s one of those problems where if it’s right, you can make a huge impact, but you can also have huge financial success,” she said.
It seems that the investors agree. Realworld previously raised $ 1.1 million, and this new seed round is led by Fitz Gate Experts (Jeff Bezos’ private investment firm), with participation from Knightsgate Ventures, The Helm, Great Oaks VC, Copper Wire Ventures, Amplifier Ventures, Fitz Gate Ventures. Underdog Labs, Human Ventures and Techstars.
Amplifyher partner Meghan Cross Breeden noted that Realworld can “corner the market at life’s milestones”, not only for Gen Z, but “for every future milestone … long into adulthood. Time, from buying a house to taking care of parents “