Rising Divorce Rates Drive High Demand and New Funding for Child Support App SupportPay
Founder and LAUNCH Accelerator Alum Sheri Atwood Raised a Strategic Round from Select Investors to Get Parents Relief from a Stressful Economic Landscape and Heavily Backed Up Court System
SupportPay, the only co-parenting app that enables parents to manage child support and share expenses directly with each other, announced it has closed an oversubscribed, strategic funding round of $800,000, specifically designed to accelerate support for divorced and separated parents heavily impacted by COVID – with divorce rates on the rise, an unsteady economy, and family courts backlogged for months since reopening. The round was led by Comeback Capital and Launch Accelerator with participation from EVPI Investments, Hustle Fund, and Launch Capital’s The Syndicate.
The funding comes on the heels of SupportPay’s participation in entrepreneur and angel investor Jason Calacanis‘ LAUNCH Accelerator program in Cohort 18, its first-ever fully virtual class – and fastest to raise funds to date. SupportPay received nearly four times the investment commitments target for the funding goal. The Syndicate is a group of over 4,000 accredited investors that invest in world-class founders.
For the 55 million parents who live apart in the United States, SupportPay eliminates the financial conflicts associated with managing child support, spousal support and alimony while enabling parents to share expenses by offering a private, secure payment platform to automate and standardize the child support tracking, billing, receipt management and payment process, while providing a certified record. Prior to this investment, the company has self-funded by focusing on revenue and increasing paid users. The decision to accept outside capital has enabled a significant acceleration of growth in key times of need, including now.
COVID has brought an urgency to the child support process like never before, wreaking havoc on both family relationships and their finances. The demand for child support modifications since March 2020 has increased six-fold which can be attributed to 13.5 million people still unemployed and the significant change in how much time a child is spending with each parent. In addition, future divorce filings are expected to increase up to 50 percent beginning in 2021, as COVID has forced parents to reassess their current relationships, happiness and mortality. In the past six months, SupportPay has seen its user registrations grow more than 150 percent.
“Today’s modern families are under more stress than ever before, with COVID adding a layer of complexity and frustration to an already challenging and contentious process,” explained Atwood. “SupportPay can be used by parents seeking a transparent method to managing child support and shared expenses and can be added directly to the child support order or modification, creating instant transparency for everyone involved – from the courts to the families and everyone in between – and ensuring no one ever has to fight about money in front of their children again.”
SupportPay’s latest round will be used specifically to grow its family law infrastructure, working closely with the courts, family lawyers, mediators, and others to streamline child support agreements and family court processes. In alignment with this, SupportPay recently added Erika Englund as Chief Strategy Officer. Erika is an attorney, mediator, and law professor, who has successfully mediated over 5,000 hours of disputes and is nationally recognized as a leader in the field of cooperative divorce and dispute resolution.
In addition, the funds will be used to increase marketing and awareness so more families can leverage the solution and ensure their children receive the financial support they deserve from both parents. Additional funds will also allow SupportPay to continue to enhance the app, making it even easier for parents to use. One new feature that will be released in the coming weeks will eliminate the manual process of entering expenses. Parents will be able to simply take a picture or scan of a receipt and the data will automatically populate an expense or entry – enabling an expense to be entered and submitted on the web or on the go in less than a minute.
Whether a parent has their base child support managed through automatic payment or state systems, SupportPay provides the only solution to manage the additional expenses such as healthcare, education, child care, extracurricular activities, and more. The platform handles all of the calculations as well as tracking, communications, and document storage, providing a certified record of all child support and shared expenses for court and tax purposes.
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