Manilla, a new company focused on the digital management of household bills and accounts, was unveiled Monday at the Demo conference--though it's not the type that usually shows up at the annual launch-and-pitch conference.
For one, Manilla was created within publishing conglomerate Hearst and is currently not backed by any other investors; second, the crowd of tech-industry regulars may find Manilla disappointingly basic.
That's the point. Manilla is geared not toward the bleeding edge of technology enthusiasts, but toward the average American head of household, the person responsible for corralling the home's cable and phone bills, bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, and airline rewards programs. The online aggregator delivers alerts, handles statements and payments, and provides a simple management interface much the way Mint has done for bank and investment accounts--though there are no bells and whistles like Mint's goal-achievement program.
Manilla was built inside Hearst as part of a digital initiative run by George Kliavkoff, former chief digital officer of NBC Universal. Kliavkoff's official title at Manilla is CEO.
Manilla's service is free to use if you're a customer; Manilla charges the mailer a small fee for a customer's decision to go paperless. (Printing and postage of household bills and related documents in the U.S. alone costs $30 billion to $35 billion annually, Kliavkoff says.) Companies with bills processed by Manilla are also given the option to advertise alongside their individual account management pages.
The company is still in closed beta; no date for a public launch has been provided.