British student banking app Loot is close to sealing a £1 million ($1.41 million) seed funding round, nine months after its launch.
The app, which works in association with a prepaid Visa debit card linked to a Loot account, exclusively targets students, who often struggle to manage their monthly finances with a bulk of money available for an entire semester’s expenses.
“This is the thing with students: Every three months, they’ll get £1,000 [$1,412] or £1,500 [$2,117], so the total balance is less important, because if I open up the app, it could say I’ve got £2,000 [$2,824], but I don’t know if that’s £10 ($14) a day or if I’ve got loads of money,” said Loot CEO Ollie Purdue in an interview with Business Insider.
The app’s design and functional tools have been built to help students get an estimate of money they have in their prepaid account to spend on upcoming bills, student loan installments, food and other expenses. Since its launch, the app has reportedly seen interest from some heavyweights, including Royal Bank of Scotland.
The app-based company, which previously raised £200,000 ($282,480) from Charles Tyrwhitt Founder Nick Wheeler and seven City bankers, is now reportedly overhauling its app to also include new budgeting and savings tools.
Purdue explained how its app-based platform can be the catalyst for banks to sign up international students, who come from varied backgrounds and financial needs. “We can onboard a customer in two minutes. We just need date of birth, name, email address — really basic,” Purdue told BI. “Then, we can do stuff like scan their passport and post them a letter to verify their address later.”
Currently, the app reportedly imposes a £2,000 ($2,824) spending limit to ward off any money laundering attempts, until it has verified its user.