ikigai, the new premium fintech bringing self-care to personal finance, has today announced its official launch in the UK.
Founded by Maurizio Kaiser and Edgar de Picciotto, who met whilst working at McKinsey, ikigai empowers its clients to spend well, save well and invest well. Offering all the personal financial tools now expected of a digital bank, ikigai also provides wealth management features that allow clients to invest in fully-managed portfolios of exchange traded funds, built and managed using asset allocation guidance from BlackRock.
Maurizio Kaiser, co-founder of ikigai, says:
“ikigai is about empowering people, aligning their finances with their sense of self and purpose. Technological advancement has touched nearly every aspect of our lives. But when it comes to wealth, incumbents and challengers keep chasing the same audience with their same one-size-fits-all offerings. It doesn't make sense. There’s a growing number of young and affluent people who are currently overlooked by banks of all sizes and platforms. That’s why we’ve built ikigai. Our clients are people focused on the purpose of wealth, not it’s mindless accumulation. They associate self-care and financial wellbeing with success and self-confidence. And they’re entering their prime earning and spending years, but the tools available right now simply don’t meet their increasingly complex financial needs. They’re underserviced and underestimated, but ikigai is here to change that.”
Spend well, save well, invest well
ikigai aims to give clients complete visibility of their money as well as high-level access and control over their financial lives.
Distinctively and elegantly designed at every touch point, from app to site to card, with a subscription model that is flat, fair and transparent, new clients can sign up within just a few minutes after downloading from the Apple App Store. Every new client is set up with a relationship manager who provides a high-touch, human connection that digital banks and fintechs today don’t offer. Once onboarded, the app has a simple, clean design that easily separates money into accounts for spending, saving and investing through the Everyday, Nest, and Wealth features.
The “Everyday” account is where clients see all their day-to-day details, including how their money is flowing in and out of their account. Transactions are automatically categorised, providing high levels of financial clarity when it comes to spending. Money can be added to the Everyday account through a bank transfer from another bank, or if a client’s ready to spend some of their savings, with an easy tap and transfer from their ikigai Nest.
Savings are put aside in the “Nest” section of the app, this is a separate account with it’s own account number, International IBAN and BIC codes. This can be topped up from the ‘Everyday’ account with just a couple of taps, or similar to the ‘Everyday’, have transfers made directly from another bank account.
ikigai also provides fully managed, globally diversified investment portfolios, found under ‘Wealth’. Believing in the power of goals-based investing, clients can define their ambitions and select these ready-made portfolios that take into account both risk appetite and the nature of what they want to achieve. From buying a property, growing their wealth, building a business or starting a family, there’s a portfolio designed to meet their needs.
All portfolios are built and managed by ikigai in collaboration with BlackRock, the largest global asset manager, who provide insights and asset allocation guidance. This means that busy clients don’t have to spend time following the markets, learning all the financial jargon or analysing companies to know which stocks to buy. Instead, all they have to do is set a goal and let ikigai put their money to work to help them achieve it. When investing, capital is at risk and the value of investments can go down as well as up.
All of ikigai’s features are available for a flat-fee that’s designed to be completely fair and transparent. Usually, with investing platforms, the more money in a portfolio the more a customer is charged, despite the same amount of work going into managing a smaller portfolio as a larger one. ikigai’s flat-fee structure removes this issue as well as any question of upsells, hidden fees or surprise costs (such as additional management, entry or withdrawal fees) that can eat up big chunks of investments over time.
Edgar de Picciotto, co-founder of ikigai, comments:
“We’ve redesigned banking for the future of affluence with a product that truly provides self-care for your money. It’s about creating a fair, easy, and holistic product where wealth meets a sense of purpose.
“We are ruthlessly client-centric. This comes through at every touch point - not least our holistic approach to personal finance and our flat-fee pricing model. We’ve combined banking and wealth management to allow high levels of access, control, simplicity and balance. We’re values-driven, just like our clients, with a focus on goals-based investing and empowering clients to achieve their financial and personal ambitions. We are always thinking of the client first and building to ensure the best experience and to meet their needs on a more personal level. The fact is that the way people feel about money has changed - it’s not just about spending power, but living power. And that presents an historic opportunity.”
Unlike the original neobanks, ikigai has not built its tech from scratch, instead focusing on providing the best user experience for its clients by partnering with best-in-class technology providers including Railsbank and WealthKernel.
Previously, ikigai raised £2 million from private and angel investors in a pre-seed round completed in 2020.