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OrSaveIt: Alain Desmier

Personal finance platform that helps people save money

Name: Alain Desmier
Age: 29
Company: OrSaveIt
Staff numbers: 3
Company description: Personal finance platform that helps people to save money

Tell us what your business does:

OrSaveIt is a personal finance platform that helps people save for things that they really want. Our users save little amounts of money into their OrSaveIt funds while on the move, quickly building up to their savings goals.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Working in an office and buying lunch and coffee every day, we realised we were spending as much as £900 a year on takeaway coffee and £1,300 on buying lunch. We realised that the money saved by not having a morning latte could pay for a holiday!

How did you know there was a market for it?

We asked friends and family about how they saved money and what they spent each day. Overwhelmingly, people told us that they wasted money spending on ‘impulse’ and that they would use a service to help them impulse save, instead.

What were you doing before starting up?

I was director of business development for LeadPoint Inc, a Californian start-up and I was also consulting for a number of start-ups. Mike, my co-founder, was the CTO for www.enternships.com.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes, but not because I have always wanted to be the boss. I’ve always enjoying being part of teams and companies that build innovative products. Starting my own business was just the next step in that journey.

How did you raise the money?

Angel investment.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Payment processing and the costs around processing thousands of small payments is a very expensive business and is one of the major challenges we face.   We’ll overcome this when we have a high enough level of transactions to negotiate lower fees!

How much do you charge?

Our service is free to the consumer and the app is free to download.

What was your first big breakthrough?

The Daily Mail featured us in their money section which really helped us drive signups.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Don’t call yourself an entrepreneur, it’s just added pressure.   There will be time for champagne (hopefully) and fancy titles when you’ve sold three companies and made millions.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

Running or building a start-up. Sun-bathing on a beach is for someone else.

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