Student app bags 1.5 million pound investment
Technology that helps students balance their books through a smart money management app has received a £1.5m investment.
Law graduate Oliver Purdue has secured backing from high-profile investors for his banking service Loot just two years after finishing his studies at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).
The company, which also employs UWE Bristol undergraduate Chris Denny, has attracted £1.5 million in investment from Austrian early stage fund Speedinvest and Global Founders Capital.
The technology has all the features of a traditional bank account, such as ATM cash withdrawals and transfers, along with a specially-designed app targeted at helping customers stick to their budget.
Oliver, 22, set up the company after becoming frustrated at his attempts to budget effectively using the app offered by his High Street bank.
He said: “I found that my banking app just showed my current balance, which didn’t really mean much to me. When students have their loans come in, their bank balance makes it looks like they have loads of money. But it doesn’t tell them how much that actually amounts to per week, until they get their next loan in.”
Loot launched at seven universities in September and plans to expand this year.
Chris, also 22, a third year philosophy student set to graduate this summer, said: “One of its main features is that it helps students manage their money better. It doesn’t just tell you how much money you’ve got, as other banking apps do. You can set a savings goal which can help you budget, giving you a day-to-day spending limit. There is also categorisation, so you can see where you have spent your money, whether it’s food, going out, entertainment or clothes. We believe this makes it more meaningful.
“You will be able to compare your spending with other students. With food, for example, you might not know what constitutes a reasonable amount to spend on food in a week. If you are spending too much, relative to other students, we can provide customers with offers to help them save money.”
The 14-strong team behind Loot is hoping to make a major breakthrough in the burgeoning fin tech sector, with plans to invest its new funding in marketing and recruitment.
Chris said Loot would eventually generate profit through international transfers, but by charging a smaller fee than the established banks, and through its targeted promotions for customers.