UK-based personal financial management start-up Money Dashboard has gone live following months of beta testing with 10,000 pilot users.
Developed as a Rich Internet Application and using data and account aggregation technology from Yodlee, the free service gives users an overview of their balances and transactions from multiple online bank and credit cards brands in one secure view.
Gavin Littlejohn, founder and CEO of Money Dashboard says that levels of demand for the application have consistently exceeded expectations and the first round of beta testing was over-subscribed, despite the release of thousands of extra places. He believes that the Government's austerity measures coupled with the ongoing impacts of the recession have forced the public to look for ways to save and manage their finances more effectively.
"The UK consumer has shrinking access to financial advice, with few people either knowing their bank manager, or having an independent advisor from the professionally qualified sector," he says. "More and more people have realised that with reduced access to credit and with the impact of government austerity measures that they really have to sit up and take control."
He says the company will make its money by offering access to financial products via "Ways to Save" pages on which it will earn a marketing fee from the provider.
The business has raised £2 million of funding to date, from business angels with deep experience of the retail finance sector and from investment firm Par Equity. Further capital will be injected as part of the next phase of market development, says Littlejohn.
Finextra verdict We wish them well, but Finextra believes that Money Dashboard has an uphill battle on its hands. With previous UK start-ups in this field going to the wall, the consumer appetite for independent PFM software seems over-stated. As in the more developed US market, we expect that bank-based PFM services aligned to individual online bank accounts will ultimately hold sway.