A Local Boy Does Well – Strands Acquires NetworthIQ

As I reported on GigaOm, local web application developer Ryan WilliamsNetworthIQ has been acquired for an undisclosed amount by Strands, a Corvallis based startup who is heavily involved in social recommendation software.

Strands, formerly MyStrands, is a company known for social recommendation technologies mainly surrounding online media. The company’s core product is a music recommendation engine that allows users to discover new songs. Today the company has announced the acquisition of NetworthIQ to enhance the functionality of their private beta moneyStrands personal finance application.

Today’s news, combined with the previous acquisition of Expensr, shows that Strands is seeking to expand its social recommendation engine to other content areas, namely personal finance.

In my interview with Gabriel Aldamiz-Eschevarria, Strands’ VP of Communications, stated Strands’ intention to bring real solutions to the issue of Internet content overload and fragmentation. For example, in the finance space, a person can see their checking account balance on Bank of America’s website, but have to go do American Express to see how much is owed. moneyStrands will seek to aggregate these silos of content, give users insight into their finances, and with NetworthIQ’s functionality – compare these anonomously for financial benefit.

NetworthIQ’s functionality will be integrated into moneyStrands, Strands’ private beta web based personal finance application. NetworthIQ was launched in 2005 by Furio and allows individuals to track their net worth on an aggregate level and share it with other NetworthIQ users. This financial social networking site enables its users to gain knowledge based on the community’s financial experiences and insights. This is done by exposing new ways for you to track, spend, and save your money, based on other’s experiences.

On the surface, NetworthIQ and Expensr (Strands’ previously announced acquisition) may seem very similar in nature. However Expensr is focused on tracking expenses so a person knows how much they spend on a monthly basis. NetworthIQ, rather, is focused on giving you a community for help and motivation regarding your investments and spending habits.

Strands has had phenomenal success building a mobile strategy into their music platform. Aldamiz eluded that moneyStrands will have a mobile component that will include versions of moneyStrands for iPhone, Nokia (S60) browsers, and BlackBerry. moneyStrands will allow users to quickly check their financials on the web. Aldamiz noted that financial institutions today do now have an impressive presence in the mobile space and Strands’ seeks to change that.

moneyStrands faces competition from existing sites such as Wesebe and Mint. With Strands’ treasure chest it will be interesting to see how they develop moneyStrands into a cohesive and usable product.

Up until just recently, Williams was working at a Tigard-based firm as a software developer. NetworthIQ was a side project he worked on and built a business around with some colleagues at Fourio. Let this serve as an example of how being passionate about a side project can translate into being able to someday have your side project become a full time job.

When I asked Ryan about his transition now working for Strands, he said,

Joining forces with Strands presents a great opportunity to utilize
the Strands recommendation platforms to help people make better
financial decisions, providing insight into the best ways to track,
spend, and invest their money. Â Personally, it’s such a thrill for
NetworthIQ to be acquired and to join the Strands team. Â When my
Fourio partners and I launched NetworthIQ in 2005, we were excited
about its potential, but weren’t really sure how it would turn out. If
people would really want to open up about their money this way, and
whether we’d find the time and enery to keep it going with so many
other events going on in life. Â But people did and we were able to
carve out a simple and effective solution to help people manage their
money. Â Considering how global the web is now, it’s pretty exciting to
find this match practically in my own backyard, with Strands being
headquartered in Oregon. Â I’m really looking forward to working with
the Strands team on the moneyStrands project and seeing what we can

Nice job Ryan! We can’t wait to see what awaits with Strands and the new moneyStrands product!

2 comments on “A Local Boy Does Well – Strands Acquires NetworthIQ
  1. Pingback: NetworthIQ Blog » Blog Archive » NetworthIQ joins Strands

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