Oval Money raised £788,440, 58 percent more than the initial target, from 1,051 investors in a crowdfunding round that lasted 14-days and ended on Monday 29 January. Oval Money chose crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to host the campaign, which opened to the public on Monday 15 January and achieved the initial target of £500,000 in only 72 hours.
FCA-authorised Oval Money plans to use the new capital, which represents 13.6% of the company’s total equity, to develop the industry’s first multi-sided marketplace for savings and investments products, creating a truly end-to-end savings solution for its users. 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 a third (35%) 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 in a single day on Tuesday 30 January, following the close of the crowdfunding round. Oval Money has now attracted nearly 60,000 users on iOS and Android across the U.K. and Italy, the two markets which it is currently targeting.
After the close of the crowdfunding campaign, Oval Money co-founder and CEO, Benedetta Arese Lucini said: “We want to thank each and every one of our investors for their belief in what Oval Money can achieve. 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 behaviours 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 percent 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 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 startups and now Oval Money’s CTO. 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.