Oval Money, the European automated saving and crowd-investing marketplace app, raised £788,440 from 1,051 investors in a 14-day crowdfunding round that ended on Jan. 29. The campaign, hosted on Crowdcube, attracted 58 per cent more than the original target.
The new capital, representing 13.6 per cent of total equity, is earmarked to develop the industry’s first multi-sided marketplace for savings and investments products. This follows Oval Money’s first of its kind integration with Facebook in October, whereby users save money each time they post on the popular social media platform.
During the 14-day campaign, daily investment averaged £60,649, while the average investment was £750. One backer invested £44,200 in a single stake. More than one-third (35 per cent) of the new investors are current users of the Oval Money app, reinforcing the company’s ethos of a community and crowdsource platform.
More than 3,000 new users joined the intelligent personal savings and financial education app on Jan. 30. Oval Money has now attracted nearly 60,000 users on iOS and Android across the U.K. and Italy, the two markets it is currently targeting.
“We want to thank each and every one of our investors for their belief in what Oval Money can achieve,” co-founder and CEO Benedetta Arese Lucini said. “With their backing, Oval Money will continue to make saving and investing easier and more intuitive for our users. Together with our community of 60,000 individuals, we are excited and eager to embark on the next chapter in the Oval Money story.”
Oval Money users set savings aside through ‘steps’, commands based on user behaviors that draw money from a linked current account into a digital wallet. Through the app, users are saving an average of £130 per month, growing at 18 per cent a week. 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 per cent. This is less than half the average Eurozone household saving ratio of 12.1 per cent 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 CTO Simone Marzola, an expert in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Previously, Oval Money 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.
Learn more about Oval Money in this interview with Ms. Lucini.