Dealflow | July 30, 2020

Generation backs Guideline’s 401(k) plans for small businesses

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, July 30 – Guideline launched five years ago to develop low-cost, subscription-based retirement plans for small businesses and their employees. The company says it manages $2.5 billion for 13,000 businesses.

Generation Investment Management backed Guideline’s $80 million Series D round as part of a series of investments in the future of work (see, Generation Q&A: How the pandemic strengthens the case for sustainable investing). Greyhound Capital co-led the round.

Guideline touts the accessibility of its subscription-based service to small businesses, which are overlooked by traditional 401(k) providers using asset-based fee models. Generation’s Shalini Rao called it a “market failure” that Guideline is addressing.

But Guideline offers only two ESG funds, and only to plan participants who self-direct their investments. One of the ESG funds, Vanguard’s VFTAX, is Guideline’s most widely used fund, a spokeswoman for the company told ImpactAlpha.