“Rho provides a tech-forward platform where we can do everything founders need to manage finances operationally – and save hours of time and money in the process.”
What is Mento?
Mento is a career coaching and mentorship platform startup founded by Alex Marcus and Jamie Albers that connects CEOs and other ambitious professionals with seasoned leaders in their field to provide 1:1 coaching and mentorship.
Startup environments are known for being fast-paced and, at times, chaotic. In search of product-market fit, startups iterate fast and test new hypotheses – and a single macroeconomic shift can force them to change their business model overnight. Employees operating in these often unstructured environments are expected to work autonomously, which can come with tradeoffs. For example, the first marketing hire may not have any senior marketers with startup experience who can mentor them and provide feedback that helps them succeed in their role. Mento, the learning and development platform for startups, is on a mission to solve this problem.
As experienced entrepreneurs, co-founders Alex Marcus and Jamie Albers started Mento to address two problems: Startup employees often lack mentorship resources and most learning platforms aren’t tailored to those working in autonomous, independent environments. With Mento, startups can provide their employees a platform that grants them access to skills-focused coaching and mentoring.
The first marketing hire at an early-stage company can use the Mento platform to connect with a veteran VP of Marketing who has successfully scaled 2-3 similar early-stage companies and can share ideas and receive advice on particular problems the employee is encountering. In addition to individual coaching, Mento users gain access to community support, events, workshops, and individualized growth plans that help them achieve their career goals.
Thanks to the company’s seed funding round, the remote-first talent platform startup began to scale its workforce, adding key hires in product, engineering, client success, and sales. As headcount increased to support the company’s next stage of growth, Co-CEO Alex Marcus recognized the need to reevaluate its banking relationship at the time.
“Before Rho, we banked with a legacy institution and it worked well initially, but we started seeing limitations that made it difficult to manage finances and operations, especially for our fully-remote workforce,” Marcus said. “When we had issues, we would hit dial tones or we weren’t able to achieve some of the functionality that we needed to scale and operate properly.” Business critical processes like spending, expenses management, vendor payments, and treasury were either too complex to manage or support was non-existent with the previous banking partner. This presented a significant problem for a technology disruptor with plans to grow its remote-only operations.
That legacy banking relationship lacked responsive customer support and technological capabilities needed to support Mento’s growth strategy and fully-remote workforce.
The Rho platform improves Mento's finances in three ways:
- Spend control: Digitally manages corporate cards and expenses for its 100% fully-remote workforce.
- Unified finance stack: Consolidates its spend and cash management finance stack into a single platform with one login, simplifying Mento’s end-to-end financial operations.
- Streamlined cash management: Puts its latest funding round to work with Rho Prime Treasury*, earning enough yield equivalent to two months of additional runway. Mento also leverages Rho Treasury Management Accounts to access up to $75M in FDIC deposit insurance on its non-operational funds**.
With Rho, Mento manages its full finance stack in a single, integrated platform that boosts the SaaS company’s operational efficiency.
With Rho, Mento replaced and consolidated its legacy corporate card provider and banking institution, taking full advantage of Rho’s end-to-end cash and spend management capabilities.
“As a founder, there are a lot of reasons you sign up to do the job, but there are many unforeseen responsibilities that aren’t glorious but can be stressful if you don’t manage them,” Marcus said. Case in point: Managing corporate card spending and expense management for a fully-remote workforce distributed across the United States. With Rho, Mento’s founders and finance team can manage this process easily and put in place controls that help the company limit wasteful or surprise spending amid the current level of economic uncertainty.
Amid a string of interest rate hikes from the Fed, Mento has also utilized Rho Prime Treasury to generate market-competitive yield on their non-operational cash reserves, unlocking additional value from services that aren’t typically offered to startups of their size from legacy banking institutions.
What’s more, in early 2023, as Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and sent shockwaves through the startup landscape, the Mento team had the assurance their funds are well-diversified with Rho. “We had enough money in our checking account to fund operations; everything else we diversified across Rho Treasury Management Accounts and Rho Prime Treasury,” Marcus said. “Having that assurance during that especially stressful time for startup founders meant the world to our team.”
By integrating spend and cash management with Rho’s full financial stack – versus treating them as separate, siloed processes – the company’s founders have better visibility and control over how money moves in and out of the organization and how reserves are used to generate untapped value. “Rho provides a tech-forward platform where we can do everything founders need to manage finances operationally – and save hours of time and money in the process.”
*Investment management and advisory services provided by RBB Treasury LLC dba Rho Prime Treasury, an SEC-registered investment adviser. RBB Treasury LLC facilitates investments in securities: investments are not deposits and are not FDIC Insured • Investments are not bank guaranteed, and may lose value. Investment products involve risk and past performance does not guarantee future results. **Mento is a client of RBB Treasury LLC, and is not being compensated for sharing their opinion and experience. The comments may not be representative of any other firm's experience.
**Insured through the network of over 400 FDIC deposit-insured banks. More information about Rho’s Treasury Management Account program can be found here.