By Chloe Aiello
Michael Liebman caught the financial bug young. At the age of 13, he started trading stocks. At 15, he got a job as a bank teller, and started saving for retirement at 16.
Now in his early 20s, Michael has teamed up with his sister Rebecca Liebman to co-found LearnLux, an enterprise company that aims to help workers achieve the kind of financial wellness he has been chasing throughout his young life.
"Growing up, I always had a passion for personal finance and tried to teach myself as much as possible about building wealth," Michael Liebman told Cheddar Wednesday. "And I found that it was really hard to just teach yourself from Google."
LearnLux consists of online, interactive learning tools that attempt to educate a company's employees about important financial decisions concerning retirement, benefits, insurance, health care, stock options, and more.
"You get your paycheck from your employer, you have one of your primary investment accounts from your employer, you're getting your health insurance primarily through your employer," Michael Liebman said. "So they're giving you all the things that make up how you make money and how you invest your money, but they don't really teach you how to use those effectively."
Even as a teen worker at the bank, Liebman said he remembers fielding personal finance questions from coworkers and customers of all ages. That tipped him off that there might be a space in the market for personal finance teaching tools. He's not the only one who sees the opportunity.
Rebecca Liebman won big backing from Salesforce ($CRM) CEO Marc Benioff and Ashton Kutcher's firm Sound Ventures at a South by Southwest pitch event, and they later led a $2 million seed round.
"They've been amazing investors to have. First [from] Benioff, just seeing how you scale a company from nothing to billions and billions of dollars," Rebecca Liebman said. "And Ashton Kutcher has just been really great taking his career and understanding what he's good at ... and using his audience to show people what's going on in tech."
The siblings are using the funding to build out a team that can scale their product to something that can be used in enterprises as small as 20 employees or as large as 20,000 employees. And ultimately, they hope to address workers' financial stresses head-on, so they're no longer forced to open up Google and wonder where even to start.
For full interview click here.