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Alex Ferguson invests in prepaid card startup Pockit

23 May 2014  |  8931 views  |  13 credit card chip

Legendary former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson thinks he's spotted a winner in the fintech world, investing in prepaid card startup Pockit.

Ferguson - who will be hoping that he is better at picking startups than managers - is one of several high-profile investors including Mark Newton-Jones, the interim CEO of Mothercare, to participate in Pockit's first funding round worth around £1 million.

Founded in 2011 by Danny, Yuvraj and Virraj Jatania, Pockit charges users £4.95 for a prepaid card that can be topped up at 28,000 UK locations and used for purchases wherever MasterCard is accepted.

The company has secured deals with major retailers including M&S, B&Q and Toys R Us that see customers get cashback on purchases.

Says Ferguson: "I am excited by the plans for Pockit, their management team is superbly placed as the Jatania family has an outstanding track record of building businesses from the ground up and growing brands."

Comments: (13)

Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 23 May, 2014, 17:20 And the bid idea is?..
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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 24 May, 2014, 06:05

I don't see their point of difference ???

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 24 May, 2014, 19:07

Pretty high fees if you ask me.

Transaction Fee £0.45
UK ATM Fee£1.50
International ATM Fee£2.25
Foreign Exchange Fee3.00% 

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Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 24 May, 2014, 19:23 With interchange fee dropping to 0.2% in 2015, they have to make money elsewhere... Compared to Amex and T-Mobile in the US, their value proposition is weak. As AF said, for him it was about the founders...
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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 24 May, 2014, 23:33

Yes I also thought the purchase cost of £4.95 for the card was pretty stiff, especially considering that they will have the use of the card holders funds until any top-up is spent, also do we have any idea what the merchant’s commission might be?  I expect that most of the investment money they raise will be spent on advertising and promotion as putting together a co-branded card isn’t all that expensive.Yes I also thought the purchase cost of £4.95 for the card was pretty stiff, espicially

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Lee Britton
Lee Britton - Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) - London | 25 May, 2014, 10:49

I am more worried.  Is there anyn truth to the rumour he has suggested David Moyes comes in to manage the project through this difficult time?

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Matt Scott
Matt Scott - NCR Corporation - London | 26 May, 2014, 11:16 The loading limits look like they might confuse their target consumer (guess it's the financially immature customer). There is nothing innovative about their approach what-so-ever. Cashback on transactions: great but that probably won't even cover the 45p transaction fee. Far too aggressive fee structuring and not convinced they have a handle on remainder income strategy (no dormancy fees - really?).
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Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 26 May, 2014, 11:26

I wouldn't agree re "nothing innovative", Matt: how many prepaid card schemes have a former football manager as an investor?.. :)

Some cashback offers are not that bad, e.g. 6% off Simple range at M&S, but (a) the likes of Quidco offer that already, and (b) how many of Pockit's target audience are going to shop at M&S?..

 

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Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 26 May, 2014, 11:39

What I don't get is why "the country’s tenth-richest Asian family in Britain" would need business angels for a funding round of just £1m... If one needs some high-profile people on Board, there are other ways of achieving that objective.

There could be, perhaps, more there than meets the eye...

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 26 May, 2014, 17:11

This is yet another example of what I've heard many angel investors say time and again viz. at this stage of a company, the creds of the founding team matter more than anything else.

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Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 26 May, 2014, 17:15

Are you talking about A, Ketharaman? Or FB? Or G?..

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 28 May, 2014, 11:11

I'm with Alexander: what's the big idea?

AF is "excited by the plans for Pockit".  Why?

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Matt Scott
Matt Scott - NCR Corporation - London | 28 May, 2014, 12:00 Same guy who sang the praises of David Moyes. On that basis, to quote Dragons Den, I'm out...
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