The son of Iranian immigrants, Arman Hezarkhani spent his senior year of high school brainstorming a three-part thesis on what he wanted to dedicate his career to. First, he said that education is the most high-leverage way to make an impact on an individual, community and world. Second, he thinks that technology is the most scalable way to spread that impact. Third, and finally, he thinks that strong business incentives and for-profit businesses specifically are the most sustainable way to make impact last — not nonprofits or government organizations.
Hezarkhani’s early energy brought him to Carnegie Mellon, where he studied electrical and computer engineering, and Google, where he spent time on developer programs and Google for Education. Yet, fittingly, when it came time to join Google full time, he turned down the offer to build an edtech startup — one that would help young professionals like him create continuous, daily structured learning but without it feeling like a chore. After all, not every high schooler writes out a three-part thesis of goals, and even those that do, need a way to consistently execute on it.
“Anyone who tells you that people want to learn, largely they are wrong,” he said. “[Founders] want to believe in the best of humanity and that people are going to dedicate time to wanting to learn something, but we always come back to this vitamin versus painkiller problem.” A big area where this exists prominently is in finance, he argues, leaving consumers in a spot where they need a financial platform that helps them when they have a fever (overspend) instead of when they’re feeling ambitious (after their New Year’s resolution).
Today, Hezarkhani is the CEO and founder of Parthean, a personal finance monitoring and education app that just raised $1.1 million at a $12 million valuation by investors including Litani Ventures, Gaingels, Amino Capital, Morning Brew’s Alex Lieberman, Republic Venture partner Namrata Banerjee and others.
Parthean is trying to answer a far more complex question than simple productivity software might: How do you make consumers into better financial citizens — even if they are largely apathetic about the education it takes to get there? For Hezarkhani, alongside his co-founders Nikhil Choudhary and Jason Zhu, the answer lies in the intersection between fintech and edtech.
Currently, Parthean lets users integrate their finances with the app, through Plaid, to show financial health metrics in real time. The data could help Parthean evolve to a platform that can offer consumers financial advice when they need it most, such as budgeting tips after a spend-heavy weekend or investment advice …….