Angel Rich noticed that not everyone had an equal opportunity when it came to financial literacy. Rich set out to change that by creating gamified instructional apps through her WealthyLife brand, aiming to help individuals become financially savvy.
The Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch winner recently released her second product from the WealthyLife product line, CreditStacker, an app that teaches students how to manage and interpret credit reports.
We caught up with the budding CEO as she discussed the WealthyLife brand, how she was able to grow her user base for the CreditStacker product so quickly (she asserts it hit 200,000+ users in two weeks), and what it’s like for her to be a black female entrepreneur.
Why did you decide to start WealthyLife?
The idea came to me during my senior year at Hampton University, after the case competition team I was on won a Goldman Sachs Stock Portfolio Challenge. Our team won with the algorithm I developed, that resulted in a net portfolio gain of 2% when the market tanked in 2008. I then asked myself, how would anyone figure this out? It occurred to me that there needed to be some type of way where people can live out their financial life without the risk of losing their money. Why not practice with games, and gain those financial literacy skills—basic and advanced?
Growing up in the inner city of Washington, D.C., I was fortunate to learn the basics of generational wealth and financial literacy. My team and I want to make that a reality for everyone and help reduce global poverty and create generational wealth through our games.
How does the CreditStacker Saga game work?
CreditStacker (patent pending) is a match-three education technology game app that teaches high school students and up, how to manage and interpret credit reports. Users must swap credit types to pay off debt, achieve a high credit score, and learn from the adaptive multiple-choice questions
CreditStacker surpasses all other financial education offerings by reducing financial apprehension and increasing financial literacy retention via fun, evidenced-based gamification. CreditStacker is the only credit education technology game available internationally via a mobile app and supported by evidenced-based content and custom data analytics.
The core move is swapping the positions of adjacent blocks, to create sets of three (or more) blocks of the same credit type, illustrating consecutive bill payments. Each level contains an objective to pay off a specific loan type (ex., a student loan). Consequences are presented if the loans are not paid in time. Every 5-10 swaps, multiple choice questions appear based on financial lessons. Players must answer the questions correctly in order to get back to the swap board.
It uniquely combines a match-three game, credit score reporting, data analytics, and a learner management system. Closely simulating the ‘Fair Isaac Credit Reporting’ system, CreditStacker genuinely improves financial literacy and behavior.
How did you grow your user base so quickly?
We created our own internal algorithm for user acquisition—after reverse engineering Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube ad management systems and running 20 different experiments to create our own magical formula.
As of Aug. 15th, we’ve achieved over 210,000 downloads in a two-week time frame, and have an active user rate of 80%. This recent success actually caught the attention of Google’s 50 Top Apps department; they congratulated us and have offered some additional ways they can support the game to continue to drive up our engagement.
Did you raise venture capital? If not, are you planning to?
Yes, we’ve raised nearly half a million dollars thus far ($471,000). And we’re working toward raising $1 million to close this year.
As a black female founder, what has been your biggest challenge leading a fintech company?
Having men and women look past my age, height, gender, race, and even my physical appearance to see how intelligent I am, especially in regard to behavioral economics.
How have you overcome those challenges?
I tell young women everywhere to be the “Trojan Horse.” Let people underestimate you, enter Troy, and then take down their walls with all the information they gave you while assuming you were an idiot. I’ve spent my entire life perfecting that dance, and take joy in surprising a lot of people.
How do users access your products?
CreditStacker can be easily downloaded for free on the Google Play store for Android users and Apple iOS app store; it’s available in 21 languages, in 60 countries.