A financial technology company called B-Social has raised £3.2 million ($4 million) in funding from undisclosed but high net-worth entities, according to reports.
The funds are just the ambitious company’s beginning steps toward its goal of becoming a wholly licensed bank — one that completely redefines what banking means and framing it around social interactions.
B-Social offers a social finance app and a beta debit Mastercard, which allows its customers to keep a close eye on daily spending and track where money is going, and also creates groups between people to split bills and keep a record of who owes what.
The app is still in its beta stage and is being used by testers and employees and their friends and families. The FinTech is aiming for a bigger U.K. launch in February of 2019.
“We recognise that almost all financial transactions are inherently social,” B-Social CEO Nazim Valimahomed said. “We want to change the relationship people have with money by helping them overcome the anxiety, awkwardness and wasted time when they engage with their social finances. We are doing that by building a digital bank that truly accommodates the way people live their lives and is dedicated to connecting a person’s finances to their social world.”
Valimahomed said the idea was born from his own financial frustrations with friends, and his view that people are banks themselves, lending and borrowing from acquaintances.
“A simple example might be that you pay for flights for two or more people and then get paid back individually,” he said. “For multiple transactions, this becomes complex, often resulting in the trip organiser having to create a spreadsheet to work out what people owe across multiple transactions.”
B-Social’s plan is to let users buy stuff with its card, and then mark the purchase as an expense for a group. Then the app will let the group see who owes what and allow for easy payment. B-Social calls this a social bank, and wants to eventually compete with more traditional banks in the U.K.
“We are aiming at winning a part of their market share by targeting customers looking for a bank as social as they are that offers a unique digital experience in order to help change the banking ecosystem forever,” Valimahomed said.