Feb 22, 2019

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Arun Rao, CEO and Co-Founder of Starbutter


  • 0:00~1:29 Introduction
  • 1:29~3:49 Arun’s background
  • 3:49~4:40 Life as a 6th-grade teacher
  • 4:40~8:05 Bringing money into the classroom
  • 8:05~9:30 Transition to bond trading
  • 9:30~12:17 Habits picked up from mentors
  • 12:17~14:56 The complexities of the bond market
  • 14:56~18:33 Arun’s entrepreneurial journey
  • 18:33~20:16 Using AI to optimize financial needs
  • 20:16~20:43 A word from NGPF
  • 20:43~25:34 Virtual assistants and what they can do
  • 25:34~27:58 Robo-investors and 401(k)s
  • 27:58~30:06 History of AI in finance
  • 30:06~32:26 Establishing trust as a startup
  • 32:26~34:40 What consumers can do with starbutter today
  • 34:40~36:04 Time it takes to find a credit card
  • 36:04~40:55 The future of starbutter and finance
  • 40:55~42:30 Conclusion

Resources mentioned:


  • “I love virtual assistants because it can do 60, 70, 80 percent of the work humans do at the highest level, like the best human that does it, and we can just have one virtual assistant assisting millions of people.”
  • “What we found with virtual assistants is that when you buy a product it's justifying with data why they made the suggestion.”
  • “[For a consumer to find a credit card] it takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes but our agent can get really good recommendations under 5 minutes, often under 2 minutes.”


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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