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General Atlantic Leads Round for Retirement Plan Firm Guideline

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 6/16/2021 Katie Roof

(Bloomberg) -- Guideline Inc., a provider of 401(k) plans for small and midsize businesses, has raised $200 million in a financing round led by General Atlantic.

The investment values the startup at $1.15 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because it was private. Guideline was valued at $425 million after an $80 million funding round in July, according to data provider PitchBook.

Generation Investment Management, Greyhound Capital, Felicis Ventures and Propel Ventures, as well as other existing investors, participated in the round, which brings the total raised by Guideline to $344 million.

Guideline works with businesses such as professional services firms, dental offices and restaurants to provide 401(k) retirement plans for employees.

General Atlantic invested in Guideline because of its streamlined approach that reduces the number of intermediaries a company has to deal with, said Aaron Goldman, managing director and co-head of financial services at General Atlantic. With small businesses increasingly realizing that “a 401(k) is a strong retention tool for employers,” the market opportunity is large and growing, Goldman said.

With annual revenue of less than $50 million, Guideline is still working on reaching the scale of a public company, said co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Busque. The company is already taking steps toward an initial public offering, he said.

“We’re going to go public in 2023,” he said. “We’ve set everything in motion to achieve that goal.”

The company, which is headquartered in San Mateo, California, now has a larger presence in Austin, Texas. Guideline also has opened a San Diego office. With the new investment, Guideline plans to hire 60 people across its locations.

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