The downtown-based brand plans to engage English-speaking Latino audiences with finance-related content and personal finance products. Suma will include both proprietary and third-party financial education and coaching, as well as digital personal finance tools.
Launched in June, Suma has been in beta test mode for most of the last three months. It kicked off full operations in late October.
Suma has raised more than $1 mil
All of Suma’s investment to date has come from women venture investors, nearly all of whom are Latina, according to the company.
Acevedo’s prior company, Mitú, creates English-language social media content for Latino youth — albeit with a more pop-culture focus than Suma.
Founded in 2012, Mitú raised $53 million in venture investment before it was sold to Marina del Rey-based GoDigital Media Group in February for an undisclosed sum. The brand has more than 370,000 subscribers on YouTube, more than 735,000 followers on Instagram and more than 4 million followers on Facebook.
“With Suma, I’m taking the same insights that I brought to pop to finance — which is this super scary topic,” Acevedo said. “We (Latinos) don’t grow up in our households talking about money ever.”
The serial entrepreneur said she and her backers felt personally driven to promote financial health in the Latino community.
“Our mission is to close this (racial) wealth gap,” Acevedo said. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have all these Latinas in my cap table because it is a personal problem to them.”
Acevedo described Suma as a fusion of Nerd Wallet Inc., which provides financial education content, and Betterment, a platform offering digital financial planning services. Her vision is for the company to help young Latinos build savings, make investments and fund their own entrepreneurial ventures, moving past the “financial trauma” that many older, immigrant Latinos experienced in their countries of origin.
“People think that we are going to target (young Latinos) like their parents, but it’s not the same,” she said.
Acevedo said English-language content, delivered with a distinctly Latino-focused approach, had far greater potential to get young Latinos on the road to wealth-
building than either traditional Spanish-language content or general audience English material.
“When things are done in-culture,” she said, “they are far more effective.”
In the months ahead, Suma is looking to close additional investment funding. According to Acevedo, this will likely include nondilutive capital through grants given to undertake financial education initiatives in underserved communities. The company is also aiming to build partnerships with major financial brands looking to attract Latino clients and to add a Spanish-language website by the end of the year for international audiences.
“Since it’s already November, that’s probably all I’ll be able to do before the year ends,” Acevedo said. “There will be little sleep in my future until then.”
Suma Wealth Inc.
CEO: Beatríz Acevedo
BUSINESS: Personal finance
FUNDING TO DATE: $1 million
NOTABLE: Suma’s leader, Beatríz Acevedo, is the also the founder of downtown-based Latino youth media company Mitú.