Squirrel opens up £400K capital raise to online equity investors
16 January 2017 | 2800 views | 0
Online investment platform SyndicateRoom today announced that Squirrel – a personal finance app dedicated to empowering users to have more control over their money – plans to raise £400K through the platform.
Experienced angel investor Jos Evans is the lead investor on the fundraise and has already committed £100,000 to Squirrel. The innovative personal finance business is now aiming to raise another £300K with the help of SyndicateRoom members.
In the UK, it is estimated that 21% of people are living off their overdraft within the first week of being paid. CEO and founder Mutaz Qubbaj launched Squirrel with co-founder Emanuel Andjelic in 2014 to address this issue by providing people with more control over their finances and empowering them to achieve their financial goals.
Squirrel is an FCA-authorised business which issues users with a bank account and provides an application to create a budget. This allocates income, expenditure and savings before the user gets access to their money, ensuring the money needed to cover essentials, such as rent and bills, is set aside.
In just three years Squirrel has seen more than 5,800 users and £2.9 million flowing through its bank accounts, all managed solely by the Squirrel application. The business will use the proceeds of this fundraise to expand the platform’s capability and service a broader demographic.
To date, Squirrel has seen strong traction with the lower-income demographic and by partnering with housing associations has been able to reduce the likelihood of homelessness. Over the next 12 to 18 months, Squirrel plans to broaden its reach to the student and pensioner communities.
“Welcoming Squirrel onto our platform marks another step in SyndicateRoom’s journey in getting great British businesses funded,” commented Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO and co-founder, SyndicateRoom. “At our core, we’re about working with companies that are on a mission to make the world a better place. We were thrilled to see our first exit last month in the medical technology sector, and remain very proud of the greater impact that our members are having on society through their investment decisions. Squirrel is a great example of such investment opportunities, offering both a disruptive and scalable business centred on creating meaningful, positive social outcomes.”
“Engaging online investors in a fundraise has been a route that we’ve been considering for some time,” said Mutaz Qubbaj, CEO and founder, Squirrel. “However, it was crucial to reach a point where we could demonstrate our success and track record, so we could make it a solid opportunity. It’s been an incredible journey for the business so far, and we’re excited to welcome investors to join us from this point. After learning about SyndicateRoom’s approach from peers and experienced angel investors, the platform was a natural choice. SyndicateRoom offers a professional and transparent way of accessing money from sophisticated investors - and this was a crucial part of our decision-making process.”
“Squirrel is interesting in that it’s not only a highly investable idea with tremendous growth opportunity, it also has a really positive social impact,” said lead investor Jos Evans. “The people who use it are generally on lower incomes and Squirrel is helping them save money for the first time.”
SyndicateRoom’s award-winning and pioneering investor-led model has brought online investors the opportunity to invest in scalable British businesses alongside professional angels on the same economic terms, whilst also doing their bit for social good. At the same time, the platform has enabled genuinely impactful British businesses like Squirrel to gain access to much-needed growth capital more easily and more efficiently than is offered currently by the banks.
In addition to being featured in the five fintech startups to watch from Barclays Accelerator, Squirrel has won a number of awards. These include Wired London Startup and the Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace.