FinTech, fundraising & changes in the banking industry #AfterDinnerRoundup
This week we saw Alick Varma, founder of Osper, a mobile banking app for young people aged between 8-18 years old, speak at dinner on the topics of FinTech, fundraising and the changes happening in the banking industry.
With financial education being poor in the UK and many parents feeling ill at ease with teaching their children about money, Alick felt there was a hole to be plugged when it came to how children are taught money management. He set up Osper 4 years ago to combat this issue. As a 12 year old, he was taught profit and loss by his parents. By having pocket money, he had the added responsibility of paying for his travel and clothing budget. This ultimately built Alick’s confidence to manage money.
Osper’s stamp on the FinTech world is to get kids learning about managing money by doing it. Alick’s vision was to change the banking industry and build the world’s first bank for kids.
After speaking to 100s of parents, Alick established that there had been little change in the past few decades of the involvement children had with money. Effectively, 90% of children have piggy banks with an average saving of £70.
After winning a hackathon, with the prize to go to San Francisco and compete in with 12 others from all over the world. They built an app, orchestrated pre-paid debit cards (the first time it’d ever been built), he was ready for the pitch in San Francisco. They raised £750k after from angels in London which allowed them to build the product properly.
As you can imagine with disrupting the financial world, there were lots of challenges that Osper came across, including MasterCard refusing to let them work with kids under 13. They had to negotiate hard, citing examples that kids are already using parents credit cards all the time for things like iTunes so there was clearly a real need.
Launching 6 weeks before the summer holiday, on a Sunday, Osper received a lot of press, with both the Sunday Telegraph and Times writing about them. Waiting for orders, they reached 40 and plateaued. Not good! Then all of a sudden, in the evening loads of orders came rushing in, but there was nothing on TV or Twitter so Alick couldn’t understand why.
Turns out their investor, Davina McCall, put a post on her Facebook page and that sent things pretty crazy. Within 6 hours, they had over 7k orders. With 10k as their first annual target, they managed to achieve most of it in the first 6 hours. That says a lot about celebrity endorsement!
See what other dinners we have coming up at TableCrowd.