Tech Pitch: VouchedFor
Backed by over $6m, this start-up has developed a site to help Britons source the best professional advice. Read on to find out how it works...
Company name: VouchedFor.co.uk
Founder: Adam Price (37)
Background:Oxford University graduate with an MBA from INSEAD. Previously worked at Barclay’s Wealth where he was head of digital proposition.
Based in: Teddington
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
VouchedFor.co.uk is a rating and review site that sets out to solve the problem of finding a high quality independent financial adviser, mortgage adviser, solicitor or accountant quickly and conveniently. We also enable professionals to win client trust and generate referrals based on their ability to deliver an excellent client experience.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
Research I conducted in 2012 revealed that a lack of trust was preventing people from engaging with financial advisers. VouchedFor was created in order to add a layer of transparency to the sector and give consumers the confidence to seek expert help to sort out their financial and legal affairs.
Since launching, we have grown our community of advisers to over 10,000 with over 50,000 verified client reviews. All of the advisers listed on the website have been checked against the appropriate regulatory body so consumers can be sure they are in good hands.
We strongly believe that everyone is better off with great advice, particularly given the raft of recent political and regulatory changes. Yet we found recently that almost half of Britons (47%) between the ages of 40 and 55 have never sought financial advice. There is work to be done to get that number down as our site visitors are often surprised at the simple things they could be doing to significantly improve their financial well-being.
Are you funded?
In October 2015, we received a $5.4 million Series A round from Octopus Investments supported by Samos Investments. This has been invested into our marketing and technology platforms to help make choosing a financial adviser more efficient and accessible.
Octopus and Samos are perfect investors for VouchedFor. Not only do they have a great track record of working with and championing high growth businesses, but they also share our passion for helping people get the best professional advice.
What were you doing before starting?
I worked at Barclay’s Wealth before launching VouchedFor in 2012. Despite my background in finance, I was unable to point friends and family looking for a great independent financial adviser in the right direction.
Three things happened simultaneously that encouraged me to build the company. The birth of my first child completely changed my outlook on life, helping me to understand how important it was to have your finances in order. Secondly, I was ready to move on from Barclay’s and wished to start something that could revolutionise the financial industry.
Finally, I was lucky enough to have the collateral and capital behind me to get the business off the ground.
What is the best thing about where you’re based?
We are currently based in Teddington which is a beautiful London suburb. I would not rule out a move into Central London in the future but we have a hugely talented team in place and all our investors and partners are within easy reach.