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UK 'social bank' startup Kroo raises £17.7m

UK 'social bank' startup Kroo raises £17.7m

Kroo, a UK startup building a "social" bank, has raised £17.7 million in Series A funding round led by tech entrepreneur Rudy Karson.

Targeting an early 2022 launch, Kroo says it wants to remove friction from financial interactions between friends and family, reducing the "anxiety that can surround social finances".

It offers a prepaid debit card and tools to track personal and social finances - enabling users to easily create groups with friends, track spending, and split and pay bills quickly and securely.

The startup is also promising a socially conscious ethos, pledging to donate a percentage of profits to social causes. A tree-planting referral scheme has already been launched, so that every time a customer successfully refers a friend, Kroo plants 20 trees with the aim of creating a forest of a million trees.

The company is applying for a full banking license and has built its own technology platform that is microservices-based and cloud-native.

The funding will be used to drive its mobilisation phase - scaling up operations, growing its team across engineering, marketing, product, compliance and customer service, and further developing its product offering and app.

Andrea de Gottardo, CEO, Kroo, says: "We want to build the world’s greatest social bank: a bank dedicated to its customers and to the world we live in."

Comments: (4)

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - RTGS & ClearBank - London 10 August, 2021, 09:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

So the pre-paid card element is a great place / way to start out, Monzo proved this many years ago. However, lets hope that Kroo learn from those that have gone before and don't try to "build too much" of their own platforms when becoming a bank. If they do, they will soon see just how much they have to build and why even massively successful challengers like Monzo are bogged down and have such high operational costs. The trick here is to deliver your product vision, not get tied up necessarily in the banking world (unless you really need that deposit taking license - which you don't)...

Dharmesh Mistry
Dharmesh Mistry - AskHomey - Reading 11 August, 2021, 08:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Very true Andrew, though early players like Monzo and Starling did not have to many choices if they wanted a cloud native banking system when they started.

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - RTGS & ClearBank - London 11 August, 2021, 09:161 like 1 like

They had one option ;)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 11 August, 2021, 14:131 like 1 like

The product vision of Fincumbents is aligned to the different zeitgeist of Universal Banking. Even if they had a cloud native platform, I seriously doubt if they'd fit the founding philosophy of Fintechs, which is unbundling of banking i.e. the exact opposite of universal banking.

Today there are new-age BaaS platforms like Amount etc.that resonate with the unbundling product vision of Fintechs but, when many Neobanks were founded 5+ years ago, I doubt if they had a choice but to build their technology inhouse.

Fintechs are just learning that, whether you're a 100 year old Bank or a 5 year old Neobank, age has its advantages and disadvantages. An old Neobank has as much chance of being upended by a new Neobank as a traditional Bank, by the old Neobank - and, for more or less, the same headline reasons.