Oval Money exceeded its crowdfunding target of £500,000 on Thursday, 18 January, just 72 hours after the public launch on the evening of Monday, 15 January. The award-winning company has attracted more than 600 investors already and the round remains open to the public for a further seven days, before closing on Monday, 29 January.
Oval Money’s latest fundraising campaign was conducted on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The £500,000 target represented nine percent of the company’s equity, but the overfunding is increasing the equity the company is making available. With this capital, FCA-authorised Oval Money will embark on developing the industry’s first multi-sided marketplace for savings and investments products, creating a truly end-to-end savings solution for its users. Previously, Oval has been backed by Italy’s b-ventures – an incubator from Japan’s DOCOMO Digital, and Bertoldi Group Family Office, also with the support of Intesa Sanpaolo Group.
Commenting on the success of the crowdfunding campaign, Oval Money co-founder and CEO, Benedetta Arese Lucini said: “We are delighted by the tremendous interest shown in Oval Money during this funding round. To have reached and exceeded our target in such a short space of time is a significant achievement and it demonstrates the value there is in a product designed to improve lifestyle habits for the long term. We are excited to see how much capital will be raised by the close of the round, before we embark on the next chapter of Oval’s development.”
Since its launch on iOS in April and on Android in November 2017, Oval Money has attracted more than 46,000 users across the U.K. and Italy. Savers set money aside through ‘Steps’, commands based on user behaviours that draw money from a linked current account into a digital wallet. Furthermore, Oval Money offers first of its kind integration with Facebook enabling users to save each time they use the popular social media platform. With 3.3 million Facebook posts shared every minute, there is clearly huge potential for active users to save considerable sums of money.
Through the app, users are saving an average of £130 per month, growing at 18 percent a week. The app is especially ideal for people working in the gig economy. Oval Money user Akeem Bundu-Kamara from London says: “I’ve always found saving difficult – it’s hard to remain disciplined and keep a consistent approach to savings. I’ve found a lot of success with Oval, saving much more than I used to – £150-£240 per month. So far with Facebook, I’ve seen a slight boost to my savings rate, but I’m sure when integrations with other platforms are introduced it will be even more useful.”
Oval’s founders want to tackle the poor savings culture that has become endemic in the U.K., with one-in-four households keeping less than £100 in savings. In Q2 of 2017, the average U.K. household saving ratio, the difference between household income and expenditure, was 5.4 percent. This is less than half the average Eurozone household saving ratio of 12.1 percent for the same quarter.
Oval Money was founded by Benedetta Arese Lucini, former CEO of Uber Italy, with Claudio Bedino and Edoardo Benedetto, co-founders of do-it-yourself crowdfunding platform Starteed.com, and Simone Marzola, long-time expert in machine learning and artificial intelligence with previous start-ups and now Oval’s CTO. Combining Benedetta and Simone’s backgrounds in big-data solutions to everyday problems with Claudio and Edoardo’s deep understanding of crowd-sourced solutions, Oval Money is well positioned to launch the next-generation personal finance app.