October 21, 2017

Thousands enrol Cleo app to avoid going into overdraft 


  • Tens of thousands of customers have already signed up for the money app
  • The app, Cleo, is now worth £400 million –  just 18 months after its launch 
  • Last month it secured a £2 million investment from sources including Skype 
  • Founder Barney Hussey-Yeo had the idea for the app while working at Wonga

Vicki Owen, Financial Mail on Sunday

Cleo, a financial technology start-up with an artificial intelligence system to help customers handle their money, has attracted tens of thousands of customers worth £400 million just 18 months after its launch.

The money-managing assistant analyses spending patterns and offers advice on budgeting, paying bills and finding deals.

Last month Cleo secured a £2 million investment from sources including Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom and Entrepreneur First, an investment programme for technical founders.

Cleo analyses spending patterns and offers advice on budgeting, paying bills and finding deals

Cleo analyses spending patterns and offers advice on budgeting, paying bills and finding deals

Cleo analyses spending patterns and offers advice on budgeting, paying bills and finding deals

Customers can view their spending according to transactions, categories or merchants. 

They can automatically save money, send cash to friends via Facebook Messenger and compare spending habits with those of their peers.

Founder Barney Hussey-Yeo, who was previously employed at the controversial payday loan firm Wonga, said: ‘Legacy banking software is unable to cater to the needs of a generation that is used to instant responses and real time interaction.’

He told us: ‘The original idea for Cleo came to me when I was working at Wonga. I had just graduated from a machine learning degree and I was getting paid a good salary, but I would still find myself going into overdraft.

Founder Barney Hussey-Yeo was previously employed at the controversial loan firm Wonga

Founder Barney Hussey-Yeo was previously employed at the controversial loan firm Wonga

Founder Barney Hussey-Yeo was previously employed at the controversial loan firm Wonga

‘I thought I could probably solve this problem. I built the first version myself. I had some scripts that would log in to my bank and download my data and send me notifications when I was running out of money. It was really useful and it worked.’

He added: ‘Then my friends started using it. The idea of a digital assistant really resonated with people. Now we’ve got more than 50,000 customers.

‘We’ve just raised another £2 million and launched a host of features to help people save money – from automatically switching utilities to getting better credit card deals to consolidating debt with loans in the background.’

For further information visit meetcleo.com.

 





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