Tell us about Micruity, what inspired the company?
Chris: Micruity is pensionizing 401k plans to help everyone save for a more secure retirement. Along with our partners, we are building an open architecture ecosystem that supports everything from educational platforms to eApps for securing annuity contracts while delivering a secure and seamless plan participant experience.
Trevor: Before Chris and I started Micruity, I was working at Deloitte with the Pension Actuarial Team. One of our jobs was to help companies close down their pension plans and transition members to 401k plans. For a long time, the pension plan had been a powerful symbol of retirement security. With the decline of these plans, millions of people were carrying enormous risks – a market downturn could force them to delay retirement or outlive their savings. I realized that a life annuity – an insurance product that offers lifetime income in exchange for a lump sum payment – could be built into 401k plans to re-create some of the benefit of pension plans. We just needed to make annuities more accessible.
So that’s what we set out to do.
How do you foresee Micruity addressing the demands of the future?
Trevor: People are living longer and longer, and fewer of them have access to pension plans. There’s no question that people will need access to guaranteed income products as part of their retirement savings planning. At the same time, the passage of the SECURE Act in the US has removed barriers to including these products inside 401k plans. With increasingly intense competition for skilled talent, there has been a lot of focus on modernizing health benefits plans. I think we can expect to see employers shift that competition to the retirement benefits space.
Chris: Pensionizing 401k plans means powering a more dynamic 401k experience. It also requires significantly more data to be shared between all the stakeholders – life insurers, asset managers, 401k record keepers, managed accounts, planning tools, the list goes on and on. We quickly realized that scalability in this market will be dependent on centralization and standardization. Given the number of different stakeholders and that they all occupy different places in the ‘digital journey’ the industry needs product-agnostic infrastructure to make it viable. And Micruity provides that.
What have been some key moments over the past few years that reinforce Micruity’s mission?
Trevor: I already mentioned the passage of the SECURE Act at the end of 2019, but it would be hard to overstate its significance. For years 401K sponsors have toyed with adding guaranteed income products to their plans but there was no guidance on the risks associated with selecting a single product for a plan. The SECURE Act changed that and made adding income products to 401K plans more easier and less risky for plan sponsors.
Chris: We have been fortunate to be working with several large institutional strategic partners as we built out our first products. That culminated in a major milestone earlier this year when we closed a $5.1M seed round that brought together many of those same strategic partners as well as VC firms that shared our goal of improving accessibility to these lifetime income products.
The financing directly supported the closing of a significant commercial contract that has cemented Micruity as the thought leader in this pace. We couldn’t be more excited for what the next 18-months hold.
How has the EvoNexus Silicon Valley FinTech Incubator supported your growth?
Trevor: Working with a Silicon Valley based incubator and a high-profile corporate sponsor gave us credibility that was hugely important to our early partnership strategy. The monthly check-ins built a level of accountability within the business, and the network of Fintech founders provided us with incredible guidance and support.
Congratulations on your recent fundraise! What does 2022 look like for Micruity?
Trevor: 2022 is all about learning, development, security, and support. We are working with our first customers to build repeatable processes and support the onboarding and go-live experiences with a best-in class customer success team. To make this all happen, everyone at Micruity is supporting an aggressive recruiting effort to help us grow our team. We like to say that 2022 is the year of the annuity, and we’re working to make that a reality and help everyone American access a secure retirement.
Learn more at: https://micruity.com/
Trevor Gary’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevorgary/
Chris Livadas’ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrislivadas/