Modern public finance.
Positioned at the intersection of technology, finance and government, Neighborly develops technologies to radically modernize public finance, the $1 billion per day, 200 year-old market that powers vital public projects like schools, parks, and next-generation infrastructure.
a little bit of context
I joined Neighborly as the Lead Product Designer in 2015 as an early employee. Neighborly had less than 10 employees and had just raised their seed round.
As a small, scrappy, technology-driven startup, we shipped product on aggressive timelines to quickly find our product-market fit.
Throughout the 2+ years I spent at Neighborly, I led all aspects of Design across Product, Communications, and Brand, contributed heavily in shaping the company's overall business and product strategies, as well as worked to establish and foster design culture. In 2017, I expanded my role to become the Head of Design in addition to my role as Lead Designer.
When I left in 2018, the company had grown to around 40 employees spread across 4 offices (SF, NYC, Boston, and KCMO) and had raised their Series A of $25M.
Amount of bonds purchased directly by citizens of Cambridge, Massachusetts on the initial launch of the platform in February, 2017.
See the case study ➝
The original impact investment.
Municipal bonds operate like loans for cities when they need to finance large-scale infrastructure works in areas like transportation, public spaces, and energy. Investors loan the city money by purchasing a bond, and the city agrees to pay the investors back at the end of their investment (usually between 2-30 years), gathering interest payments along the way.
Photo: Bikeshare posters in Cambridge, MA
Financing the future, together.
Neighborly is a double-sided financial marketplace where citizens can invest in public projects through municipal bonds.
On one side, we work with cities to help raise on-demand capital for world-positive projects. On the other, Neighborly helps investors earn returns on their investments while simultaneously supporting real, tangible impact.
Photo: Pitichoke Chulapamornsri (Neighborly) helps a citizen invest in Cambridge, MA bonds using Neighborly
SELECT PRODUCT DESIGN HIGHLIGHTS
Neighborly's front door
During my years at Neighborly, we shipped multiple versions and iterations of the entire marketing site, including 3+ versions of the home page itself. As we learned more about our customers, our content and brand evolved alongside.
opening an investment account
The process of opening an investment account is complicated and highly regulated. We developed a simplified online brokerage process that was flexible enough to fit Neighborly's needs with 2 different clearing brokers.
the checkout experience
Bonds aren't typically bought online. Even in 2018, most bonds are still purchased over the phone or through specialized investment advisors. We launched a self-service tool for individuals to purchase bonds online, without an advisor.
a new kind of official statement
Since municipal bonds aren't traditionally sold to individuals, the main method of getting information about a bond is still a thick, printed booklet. We worked on distilling that information into something that anyone could read.