After raising $500,000 from notable Australian VC investors, personal finance startup Pocketbook is ready to go full speed in disrupting the banking sector. Founders Alvin Singh and Bosco Tan will be using the funds for aggressive marketing, expanding their technical team and enhancing product experience.
Singh and Tan are thrilled to be backed by Tank Stream Ventures, TV personality David Koch, former Investec Bank chairman and CEO Geoff Levy, Dimension Data founder and former CEO David Shein, and SydStart founder Peter Cooper.
They began working on Pocketbook 12 months ago, after seeing the opportunity for a much-needed update in the way Australians engage with their banks, track their spending and manage their financial lives. Pocketbook simplifies the process by aggregating users’ bank accounts, credit cards and loans, and providing a single view of their spending. Today, they help 40,000 customers track $7 billion worth in transactions.
“We have been laser-focused on changing the interaction and experience Australians have with their banks and credit card companies. The key question we seek to answer is if Google or Apple were building a banking experience, what would it be like?” says Singh.
He adds that positive customer experience is what drives the company – and simplification plays an important role in that.
“Today, we provide a much richer experience than traditional banking, across your accounts and across banks – giving you a total uncomplicated view of your spending. And we have only started – we have some big ideas in the works,” says Singh.
With only 12 months under their belt, Singh and Tan are only getting started. The injection of funds will help them bring their full vision to life.
“Our focus over the next 12 months is to accelerate user acquisition and the product experience – making it more engaging and even more useful. We want everyone in Australia to have Pocketbook and to find it the most useful app they own,” says Tan.
“The money helps us achieve these goals by allowing us to hire the best and be resourced to extensively experiment or growth hack. So if anyone’s looking for an exciting company that’s solving a real problem in a huge market, then please reach out to us.”
Tank Stream Ventures – the lead investors in the round – believes Pocketbook is solving a real consumer problem: “Consumers need a simply way to track their spending across several bank accounts and credit facilities … [we believe] they are providing consumers with the transparency they need to easily manage their finances.”
Koch says what he loves about Pocketbook is that it “puts more power in the hands of ordinary Australians to manage their money better.”
“Everyone knows they have to do a personal budget and monitor their money … but they don’t. It’s too fiddly and too boring. But now Pocketbook does it all for you in a very proactive and easy-to-understand way.”
Agreeing with the sentiment, Levy sees the possibility of Pocketbook being “the new model for a consumer bank”.
And Cooper feels Pocketbook is already filling “the gaping holes in personal management left by low levels of innovation by traditional players.” Mobile access, ease of use and the dynamic bank feeds are his favourite components of the application.
More information on Pocketbook is available via www.getpocketbook.com.