Financial management platform Squirrel launches an equity crowdfunding round

By Lisa Walls-Hester on Thursday 12 January 2017

Savings and Investment

Squirrel, launched an equity crowdfunding round this week and has already raised almost half of its target funds. The company is seeking £400,000 for six per cent equity. The campaign is running on SyndicateRoom.  

Squirrel is one of the UK’s startups helping people to better manage their money. CEO and co-founder Mutaz Qubbaj designed the “financial wellbeing platform” to empower people to regain control of their finances.

The platform combines a personal financial management and savings solution and employs a combination of automation and proprietary behavioural nudges to ensure that people can create and stick to their budget.

The company has already secured a partnership to issue basic Barclays accounts for its users.

Squirrel's ambition is to become an individual's financial hub. Money raised in this funding round will allow the company to scale across the UK, and beyond. It also wants to expand its technical functionality and has ambitions to introduce a spending card that will be loaded with spending money around budgets tied to savings goals.

Market and potential

In the UK, it’s estimated that 21 per cent of people are living out of their overdraft within the first week of payday and nearly 17 million working-age Brits have less than £100 in savings with two in five lacking a savings buffer to protect against emergency expenses. 

Squirrel is one of many British businesses which are becoming the global leaders in the emerging financial technology, or fintech, sector.

The UK is credited with being ahead of its global fintech competitors, including those in Silicon Valley, due to its existing strong financial services industry and the conductive regulatory environment.

Squirrel has been up and running for three years and is currently in beta. Since its launch, the company has acquired more than 5,300 users and seen over £2.9m flowing through its bank accounts.

The FCA-authorised firm has already acquired noteworthy business partners which include The NHS, The Hut Group, Amigo Loans, Agilisys and London City Airport. It also works with various councils, local authorities, housing associations and debt management providers.

Its business plan points to potential white-label solutions in the future with distributors such as employee benefits providers, HR/payroll providers and says more deals with financial service providers like banks are possible in the future.

For potential investors in the company Squirrel points out some recent trade sales in the sector:

  • Hello Wallet was acquired by Morningstar at $52.2m in 2014
  • Mint was acquired by Intuit in 2009 for $170m
  • Learnvest was acquired by Northwestern Mutual for $250m in 2015

Squirrel wants to become a desirable acquisition target within a time frame of five to seven years.

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