AN AUTOMATED saving and crowd investing app called Oval Money has beaten its fundraising target and will use part of the proceeds to add peer-to-peer lending options to its offering.
The European start-up had raised £500,000 from 600 investors three days after launching its crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube last week. The campaign closes on 29 January.
A company spokesperson said this latest round of funding will enable it to add P2P investing to the app, which might also include access to Innovative Finance ISA opportunities. At present the app just ringfences savers’ cash which they can then put into savings accounts of their choice.
The Financial Conduct Authority-authorised firm was founded by the former chief executive of Uber Italy. Since its launch on iOS in April and on Android in November last year, Oval Money has gained 46,000 users across the UK 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. The app is integrated with Facebook, so users can save each time they log on to the social media platform.
The firm wants to help tackle the poor savings culture in the UK which sees one in four households holding less than £100 in savings. It is especially targeting people working in the gig economy. Users are saving an average of £130 per month through the app, it said.
Oval Money user Akeem Bundu-Kamara from London said that the app had helped him to save more money.
“I’ve always found saving difficult – it’s hard to remain disciplined and keep a consistent approach to savings,” he said. “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.”
“We are delighted by the tremendous interest shown in Oval Money during this funding round,” said Oval Money co-founder and chief executive Benedetta Arese Lucini.
“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.”