Founders: Shahar Pitaru and Amit Pitaru
Headquarters: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Founded: 2008 (product in beta)
Plantly wasn't originally a "Battlefield" contender for TechCrunch's big-money prize, but conference attendees voted it in as one of the field's two wildcard entries to pitch the judges. LiveIntent, a startup working to monetize social connections, got the other wildcard slot.
Plantly aims to help users make investment decisions by forecasting what will happen to their money under different scenarios. It helps users weed through hundreds of diversified investment-plan options to zoom in on those most likely to match up with the investor's financial goals and tolerance for risk. Plantly doesn't make any money off its recommendations and doesn't take a position on which investments are "best" -- it just wants to help illustrate the choices. Its basic tools are free, but Plantly hopes to profit by selling more advanced follow-up tools for tracking investment outcomes.
When the judges asked Plantly's founders about their rivals, one turned out to be Betterment, another TechCrunch competitor. But while Betterment got knocked for being too simple, Plantly could use a bit more zing -- one judge advised the site to add in some game mechanics, like letting users "grow" a plant that will flourish (or fade) depending on the financial health of their portfolio.