Tech Pitch: BillHub

Competing with the likes of Splittable, this start-up enables house sharers to send, spend and manage their finances; "PayPal for shared finances"

Company name: BillHub
Founder: James Harrison (25)
Background: Ex-commodities trader
Based in: Old Street, London (Silicon Roundabout)
Launched: 2014

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

  • BillHub is one of the only payments platforms for house sharers to send, spend and manage their money between housemates – like PayPal for shared finances.
  • We are built on the latest e-money technology which enables us to move money around in ways some banks can’t even do right now. What this means is we are extremely efficient in terms of transaction costs, previously known to be the key barrier for other business’ doing this in the past.
  • The transparency and simplicity of our technology means that no house sharer ever has to be in the dark about their shared finances ever again, and more than that, the relationships in their house won’t be strained by money-based arguments (the biggest cause of arguments in a house share).

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

Almost 861,000 households in the UK are lived in by either students or young professional house sharers. House sharing can be a real hassle, especially splitting the household bills and keeping track of everything.

BillHub is the leader in this market disrupting the status quo with technology that enables shared payments to be split, tracked and paid for direct to the provider through one platform, in a more secure, transparent and accountable way than ever before (and it’s completely free).

In Britain, there is definitely a culture of us being too polite to ask our friends and housemates for money they owe us for fear of a potential argument. We’ve all been in that situation where a housemate owes us £5 for this, £10 for that, and not only can figures add up, it’s hugely frustrating chasing people up! BillHub eliminates the need for this and handles everything securely on the platform.

Are you funded?

We are funded yes. It was the external investors showing interest in BillHub and me that really justified to myself that we had something which could be a huge success.

What were you doing before starting?

Harrison: “I actually had the idea for BillHub when I was studying at university. I was living in a house share of nine with seven other boys and one girl. She was tasked with handling all utilities payments, which proved a nightmare and resulted in numerous arguments between the group and a gradual breakdown of relationships. Having had this experience, I was sure there must be an easier solution.

“After university I started working in commodities in the city but soon became disillusioned and decided to focus on BillHub full-time.”

What’s the best thing about where you’re based?

We recently moved into new office in Old Street which is great because we’re surrounded by other great companies doing amazing things in the tech industry.

Being in the middle of the most vibrant tech space in Europe is hugely motivating and also enables us to attract and recruit the best talent available.

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