Tech Pitch: Finimize
With e-newsletters and a disruptive new product, this start-up aims to bring personal finance "into the 21st century" and help millennials plan with ease
Company name: Finimize
Founders: Max Rofagha (29) and Scott Tindle (31)
Background: Max is an entrepreneur and Scott is a former banker.
Based in: London
Launched: September 2015
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
- There are several elements to Finimize. We are probably best known for our newsletter – which takes the most important financial news stories and explains what’s going on and, most importantly, why anyone should care. The newsletter now reaches over 60,000 people which is a great indicator of our success to date, particularly as it has grown organically.
- The next stage in our development is our new product called Finimize MyLife (FML). This product is designed to give my generation quick, impartial financial guidance, for free.
- FML gives users an overview of how to arrange their financial lives in just three minutes. The millennial generation is really coming of age in a financial sense and moving into higher-paid roles and accumulating savings (and inheritance). Most people my age will not know what to do with their savings and we have set up FML to help us make good financial decisions without stress or expense.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
The journey that people take to get a financial plan is a long and convoluted process, which is why most people don’t bother or bother way too late. Typically, you might start by doing some desktop research to learn about the basics (for example, ‘what is an ISA?’ or ‘what is an emergency fund?’).
It then becomes a question of tailoring all the different options to your own personal needs (for example, do you need income protection insurance?). This again requires more research either online or by speaking to a professional, which can be expensive.
Once you have identified what is required, you need to put numbers to it (for example, how much money should go into your house fund?) – typically in an unwieldy Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Of course, this assumes that the person in question is capable of building a financial model in Excel. Once the model is in place it is then a question of spending more time researching how to execute the strategy – which of the gazillion financial products and providers should you choose.
I think we can agree that that whole process is painful and often flawed – which is why so few people do it. At Finimize we want to tackle this problem – we’re bringing personal financial planning into the 21st century!
Is Finimize funded?
Yes, we raised £450,000 in 2016 in a round led by Passion Capital. We also have financial experts like Jason Butler on board, one of the top 100 financial advisers in the UK and author of The Financial Times Guide to Wealth Management.
What were you doing before you started Finimize?
I have worked for a number of different companies in a number of industries across Europe but at my core I’m an entrepreneur. I co-founded DeinDeal at age 24 and it became the largest e-commerce platform in Switzerland, second only to Amazon. We managed to build the company up to 200 employees and then sold the company in 2015.
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All along I have been putting money aside from my monthly salary (as your parents and the media tell you to do). Well, one day I looked at my bank account and I realised that I have established a savings pot. So far so good, but now what? What do I with these savings now? I quickly discovered that none of my friends, including bankers, had a clue either. That’s what prompted me to start Finimize in September 2015.
What’s the best thing about being based in London?
We are based in London. It’s such a great location as it is the centre of finance in Europe. There is so much talent around us, both in terms of finance and technology, that it’s great to be so close to the action and keep our fingers right on the pulse. A large portion of our users are from London, so it makes it a lot easier to engage with our users and develop our products together with them.
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