CollegeBacker rebrands after close of $8.4m round

Social savings platform CollegeBacker, which has rebranded to Backer, has scored $8.4m in a funding round, which was led by Crosslink Capital.

Contributions also came from Rally Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Expansion Ventures Reach Capital, Ulu Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital and several universities (Princeton, Dartmouth, and USC).

A number of angel investors also committed to the round, including SoFi co-founder Dan Macklin, Patreon co-founder Sam Yam and veteran fintech investor Tom Blaisdell.

Its rebrand comes in part because Congress has expanded the use of 529 plans beyond traditional college costs to include K-12 private school, apprenticeship programmes, student loan paydown and more.

It claims to have helped clients save a total of $20m for college, with 40% of the money coming from family and friends, which is 30-times higher than industry average.

Backer founder and CEO Jordan Lee said, “From day one, our mission has been to revolutionize how Americans save money by making the process more collaborative.

“We started with a social college fund powered by a 529 plan because parents were clamouring for a more modern way to save. As Backer, we will continue to propel the 529 industry forward technologically and support our families in new ways, making it easy to help loved ones arrive at life’s biggest milestones with financial security.”

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