Tech Pitch: Curve
Championing safer spending, this fintech start-up enables users to combine all their accounts into one card and view their finances through its connected app
Founders: Shachar Bialick (36) and Tom Foster-Carter (37)
Background: Bialick, originally from Israel, is a serial entrepreneur, while Foster-Carter has a background in consulting and financial technology, particularly from an operations perspective.
Based in: London
Launched: The Curve card launched to a group of early adopters in beta in February 2016. It will be launched to the mass market in summer 2017.
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
Curve makes it simpler for you to stay on top of your money.
It’s a new card that combines all your cards into one card, linked to a powerful app that gives you a consolidated view of your spending across all your cards. You don’t need to open a new bank account or go into a branch – just download the Curve app, take a picture of your existing cards, and a stylish new Curve card will arrive in the post, ready to go.
Curve card users also benefit from other major advantages. It eliminates your bank’s FX fees when you travel abroad, and saves you money on currency exchange. It also gives you more control and comfort with instant payment notifications and digital receipts, all wrapped up in bank-level security.
In fact, it’s safer than a normal bank card – because Curve never exposes your original bank card details to the merchant, which can stay safe at home, and you can lock and unlock the Curve card directly from the Curve app.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
Curve represents a huge shift about to take place in banking.
Although banks are doing a great job keeping our money safe, banking as we know it is on the verge of disruption. Tools and services which were previously distributed solely by your bank have been disintermediated by fintechs (financial technology disruptors) and financial companies, creating a disconnected world of money.
Users who are constantly on the lookout for better deals and services are overwhelmed by the noise and paralysed by choice. Curve is here to disrupt banking as we know it and create a new layer that will connect the dots for our customers, and connect the best available financial services and tools on top of their existing financial world, simplifying the way our customers spend, send, see and save their money.
Is Curve funded?
Yes – £3.5m seed funding raised from VCs (including Seedcamp, Connect Ventures and London Co-Investment Fund) and industry leaders (including founders of TransferWise, Google Wallet, Betfair and Azimo).
Curve aims to close a Series A funding round later this year.
What were you doing before you started Curve?
We met while studying for an MBA at INSEAD business school. We have both worked with fast-growth start-ups before – for myself (Bialick), this is my fifth business, having successfully exited the previous four – though I would describe this as my “moonshoot”.
My previous businesses range from telecommunications to pharmaceutical – all bound by the common theme of disruption designed to solve common problems. I’m passionate about the way innovation and technology can be harnessed to improve people’s lives.
After eight years as a consultant with Accenture and Bain & Company, Foster-Carter was COO of another successful fintech start-up – Osper, the banking service for children. The business gained significant media attention and over $10m in funding before Tom moved on to lead the operations at Curve.
What’s the best thing about being based in London?
As a growing fintech business, Curve could not be in a better location.
Not only is London a huge draw for up-and-coming and established talent, as well as a key hub for serious investors and technology-savvy early adopters, but it is undoubtedly the world’s leading hub for the fintech sector right now.
When it comes to investment, talent and interest in fintech, London is leading the way on the global stage.
Browse Startups’ free guides to learn more about starting a business in London.