Italian startups, as we predicted at the very beginning of this year, are reaping international success. The most recent and sensational case, in this respect, is Oval Money, the Italian-English startup founded by Benedetta Arese Lucini (former country manager of Uber for Italy). Oval Money raised an impressive 788,000£ from 1000 investors – the first 500.000£, which constituted the campaign target, were raised within three days of launching the project on Crowdcube. This app could now go on to revolutionise the world of personal finance, with an easy tracking system for individual savings and an intuitive, user-friendly interface that offers clear investment options to users who have no previous experience of financial investments. The formula for Oval Money’s success lies in the application of data analysis to meet the real demands of a market that so far has stayed largely untapped.
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The team behind Oval Money
The team that developed and launched Oval Money is the a perfect example of how a successful startup team should be composed: a balanced combination of different areas of expertise, working together toward a shared goal. The project was started by the aforementioned Arese Lucini, together with Claudio Bedino and Edoardo Benedetto – who had previously co-founded Starteed.com, a B2B crowdfunding platform – and machine-learning and AI expert Simone Marzola. Born in 2016, Oval Money immediately caught the attention of the incubator B-ventures and other major investors. Officially launched in 2017, the app attracted nearly 60.000 users in the UK and Italy in a matter of months.
What makes the app so attractive to users who are not accustomed to managing financial investments is the high level of automation, combined with the possibility of customising the process according to individual habits. The app aims to educate the public on the importance of saving, by providing a simple set of rules that can be adopted selectively, to match the user’s lifestyle. Each user will see their savings being moved to an online wallet, making them easier to manage. The app has also recently launched a Facebook integration, allowing users to accumulate savings each time they share posts. Oval Money’s stats so far reveal an average saving rate of 130€ per month among users, which is particularly significant when we consider that personal savings are a critical issue of European millennials.
Why is Oval Money so successful
What attracted investors on multiple platforms is the fact that Oval Money is truly an end-to-end savings solution, that takes into account the whole lifestyle of each user. The Facebook integration – which no similar app currently has – is the perfect example of this comprehensive attitude. Oval Money users do not have the tools to read the constant fluctuations of international markets, but they are sensible to the concept of saving and they are connected to Facebook and spend an increasing amount of time on the platform. The solution was so appealing in fact, that over a third of those who pledged to the crowdfunding campaign are currently users. Financial education, as it transpires, was a real need among the general public. While the app is currently available only to British and Italian users, its uninterrupted growth so far raises hopes for its extension to other markets. We will be watching future developments with great interest.
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