Meet the UWE grad with a budgeting app already worth £200k
Mo money mo problems
Ollie Purdue graduated from UWE last year and has now built a business that is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The 22-year-old’s budgeting app links straight up to your bank account and then offers you vouchers depending on what you spend most of your money on.
The app, which requires users to put money on a prepaid card, requires far less information that opening a bank account requires. It calculates and categorises spending across different categories, working out when and what you’re spending your money on. It then spits out vouchers for the categories you spend the most on.
It also gives you an average of what you spend on certain days of the week and is able to tell you what your daily budget will be in a week or fortnight’s time, giving you an accurate idea of whether you can afford a mad one with the lads next Friday.
Loot, a personal banking app that helps people at uni manage their money has just secured £200,000 in the first round of funding without the app even being ready.
The 2:1 grad said: “I never wanted to do Law, I think it’s only a third of students that actually end up practising. I like the subject but not the profession.
“Working as a lawyer is very corporate and just a little bit boring. I used to be up for hours doing these law essays that I just didn’t see the need for, it just wasn’t relevant.
“It’s just not worth the money.”
Sitting in his swish Southwark offices, where Loot employs seven full-time staff, Ollie reflected on his time at UWE. He said: “I wasn’t sure I was even going to go to uni, it was a combination of my parents and Law teacher that talked me into it.
“The people you meet is the most important thing about uni, you’re going to know them for the rest of your life.
“I also had a part-time job, which taught me a lot of social skills and about a good work/life balance. I didn’t really go to uni much in the last year, we would just use the corner shop on Park Street as our fridge, going there in our pyjamas pretty much every day.”
Ollie thought of the idea for the app last year, just after his January exams. It came after he realised that he was using separate apps for banking and budgeting for no good reason.
He said: “I was with Natwest at the time, using their app for mobile banking and another one called Daily Cost. I had to put in all my transactions manually just to be able to budget properly.
“Sometimes I would miss an online payment or an Oyster top-up, so the monthly totals would never be 100 per cent right, it was pointless.
“Banks have all this transaction data, so why was I wasting my time, doing it by myself?”
Loot, which will go live on the App store next week, is set to be launched at a small number of unis this September.
It will be targeted primarily at international students, who often arrive in the UK with bags of cash, as they have no other way to bring money with them.
Ollie said: “You hear horror stories of international students losing a term’s worth of money, just because they lost their bag. The big banks have no way to get at their money, because they often can’t prove their residency till they’re already in the UK.”
The 22-year-old CEO is optimistic about the future of his company, with an own brand current account on the cards for next year, followed by plans to expand the company to help anyone that needs help budgeting.