What do you currently do?
I am the founder and CEO of Digital Current Account provider Loot
What was the inspiration behind your business?
At University, I realised how poor the customer service was at high street banks and the banks were clunky and lacking in information. Be it in-store, online or via an app, actions were slow and assistance was not in line with the demands of people my age. This is evident in the fact that even on a superficial level, app interfaces have not changed or developed from their initial stages. When I founded Loot I just wanted a simple app that told me how far my pay would take me and my daily budget. I could not do this via a traditional bank
Simplicity and flexibility for our customers. From day one this was at the heart of every decision we made: to make life easier for our users. To do this we had to make sure that not only could a Loot account could replace a traditional bank account but it would also enable users to track spending and save money. We do this better than any high street bank. This is due to our position as a sole-purpose start-up. While banks have many other roles, our job is to provide a digital current account and so we can really focus on how to make this experience as simple and enjoyable as possible for our users. We’re already taking market share away from traditional banks and I only expect this to continue.
Who do you admire?
Jeff Bezos, Amazon, in particular after acquiring Whole Foods. Bezos has turned a second-hand book website into the most powerful and diverse online store in the world. The recent acquisition of Whole Foods is a perfect example of how wide-reaching Amazon now is and the respect it commands. Rather than overreach, Bezos went to an established and respected industry name to enable a bold new chapter for Amazon. It’ll help Amazon push further into retail and boost their share price – the deal was essentially a free acquisition for Amazon.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
My New Year’s resolution is to use everything we have learned in 2017 to massively accelerate our business forward and into new products. My biggest mistake so far was making important decisions a little too early that then had to be tweaked, hindering progress. However, you learn from your mistakes and I believe Loot is stronger because of our early failings. We are not only a start-up but we are a start-up in a new industry and we genuinely do learn something new every day. My colleagues are brilliant and are more than aware that we can leave no stone unturned as we look to grow as a business. With our success in a recent Series A funding round we are now in a position to develop new products and make a genuine impact on the lives of our customers.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
The people you meet and the people you employ will dictate whether you succeed or fail. Learn from your colleagues, learn from your competitors and always be prepared to network. Whatever sector you are in, accumulated knowledge will always be there, you just need to tap into it and learn from it.