Meet the 15 Open Up 2020 finalists who are revolutionising money management
Each finalist was awarded £50,000 to develop their innovation in late 2019 – with Kalgera, Touco and Wagestream receiving £100,000 because of their focus on financial inclusion. Four of these finalists were announced as overall challenge winners in October 2020 when they received a further £150,000 to grow their solutions – read more about the winners here. Open Up 2020 has now ended.
Canopy have developed RentPassport, a portable digital rental identity which helps renters improve their credit score, as well as access a range of financial wellness products such as deposit free insurance which offers the same protections as with a cash deposit, except for eight weeks instead of five weeks.
“We are thrilled about the opportunity to work with Nesta Challenges to promote greater financial resilience for millions of renters. Over 11 million people in the U.K have less than a £100 in savings. We have pledged to return £1,200 back to renters’ pockets, by eliminating rental deposits by 2025. We also want to boost renters’ financial wellness, so they can get on to the property ladder.”
Tahir Farooqui, CEO
An AI assistant with a sense of humour which helps Gen Z/ Millennials budget, save and track their spending.
“We are delighted to be finalists in the Open Up 2020 Challenge. Cleo is here to make money management less elitist, more accessible and informative – transforming the ‘money thing’ into something radically different. Financial advice and education is missing from retail banking, and from government. Our aim is to give people the confidence to discuss their finances the same way they share gym habits or how they have their coffee, and we know when we have won when it’s finally normal to talk about money.”
Roxanne Nejad, Head of Brand
An affordable credit subscription service offering small interest free loans for short term credit to help those with limited savings or persistent debt cope with unexpected expenses.
“We are absolutely delighted to be finalists for Nesta Challenges’ Open Up 2020 Challenge. OpenBanking has so much potential, particularly around helping people get access to the financial services they deserve and reducing historical discrimination such as making credit decisions based on someone’s post code or past history. Open Banking really is the future and Nesta Challenges’ efforts are helping bring it closer to the present”
Neil Kadagathur, Co-Founder and CEO
The first travel debit card that connects to customers’ existing high street banks accounts, offering competitive exchange rates and saving up to 80% on bank charges when spending abroad.
“We are absolutely delighted to have won a place as a finalist in Nesta Challenges’ Open Up 2020 Challenge. It’s an early recognition of the disruptive nature of our product that will completely change the way people spend abroad. This opportunity will help us provide an even more compelling product for UK adults who need a simple and cost-efficient solution for spending abroad.
Our research showed that most UK adults don’t want the hassle of opening a new bank account or having a prepaid card to achieve better exchange rates. Currensea is leveraging Open Banking to connect directly to customers’ bank accounts saving them up to 80% on their bank’s charges.”
James Lynn, Co-Founder
A personal finance platform for older or vulnerable people. Kalgera uses neuroscience and AI to detect and predict financial vulnerability to help prevent fraud.
“My team and I are over the moon at this momentous opportunity to change the lives of millions of people. Being recognised in such a tangible way makes such a huge difference and we hope to gain as much from the experience and support to truly accelerate Kalgera’s growth.”
Dr Dexter J.A. Penn, Founder and CEO
Mojo Mortgages have designed MortgageScore™, which will combine credit and open banking data to determine if a customer is mortgage ready. Once a customer’s score is calculated, the MortgageScore™ coaching feature will provide personalised advice on how they could improve their score.
“We’re thrilled to have been selected as a finalist for the Open Up 2020 Challenge. It’s essential that fintech pioneers are encouraged and supported to innovate, and this is exactly what Open Up does. Being a finalist is amazing recognition for our team and we can’t wait for the next stage.”
Richard Hayes, Co-Founder and CEO
This innovative app helps customers save and invest for their future. You can set money aside through round ups or regular deposits and choose from a range of products including ISAs, savings accounts and pensions.
“We are thrilled to have made it through to the final of the Open Up 2020 Challenge. Open Banking presents a great opportunity for us to help existing Moneybox customers save and invest for their future more easily and to enable many new customers to get started.”
Charlie Mortimer, Founder
A financial management platform that empowers people to do more with their money by offering actionable insights to consumers to improve financial wellness. Moneyhub uses machine learning to categorise financial data by aggregating accounts.
“The true power of Open Banking is only just starting to be unlocked – but momentum is clearly building and Moneyhub is thrilled to be one of the pioneers, working closely with the Open Banking Implementation Entity and ISO TC68 to transform the European fintech landscape.
Innovation sits at the heart of the Open Banking revolution and being selected as one of the ‘Open Up 2020 Challenge’ finalists is recognition of the hard work, dedication, and excellence of the Moneyhub team. An Open Banking platform providing holistic personal financial management across all assets, investments, and bank accounts, Moneyhub will continue to push boundaries in the quest to turn the limitless potential of Open Banking into a reality.”
Samantha Seaton, CEO
A holistic credit builder for modern workers with unconventional earnings patterns, Portify’s solution analyses these earnings and spending behaviours to prevent overdraft and interest payments and offer a fee-free credit line.
“We are delighted that Portify has been selected as a finalist for the Open up 2020 Challenge. We are looking forward to working with Nesta Challenges to grow and significantly extend our impact.”
Sho Sugihara, Co-Founder and CEO
An AI assistant that boosts your bank balance through automated savings, easy bill switching and investments.
“It’s an amazing achievement for us to be selected for the Nesta Challenges Open Up 2020 Challenge. Money is a massive cause of worry for many people in the UK, and this worry is often caused by how difficult it is to save and grow money efficiently. With Plum, we’re harnessing technology and behavioural insights to help those people and boost their bank balance, not just now, but into the future. Together with the support of the Open Up fund we’re looking forward to developing this further in 2020.”
Victor Trokoudes, Co-Founder and CEO
A platform to give to good causes, making it easy for businesses and consumers to do good as part of everyday life by using open banking data to round up retail transactions and donate to charities.
“We’re so excited for this opportunity to be part of Open Up 2020, to get access to the world-class mentors and companies who can help us drive adoption and scale our impact globally.”
Loral Quinn, Co-Founder and CEO
Toucan helps people who need extra help managing their money because of impairments like dementia or mental illness. The app allows them to securely share spending alerts or financial information with someone they trust, typically a carer.
“In just six months we’ve built an app that’s already helping people share the load managing money with someone that they trust. Thanks to Open Up 2020 we’re now able to double down on building a product that can scale.
There are over six million people in the UK who want extra support when it comes to managing their money. These are people at risk because they’re vulnerable. People with dementia, mental health problems and learning difficulties.
We’re grateful to be receiving extra funding from Open Up because of our commitment to financial inclusion. We’ll be using some of this money to fund ground-breaking new research following our successful pilot this year, when we worked with The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, Nationwide’s Open Banking for Good and Northumbria University’s School of Design.”
Bailey Kursar, Co-Founder and CEO
Tully is a digital debt adviser for those struggling financially – providing online budgeting, debt advice, flexible repayments and money coaching to alleviate financial stress.
“We are delighted to be one of the Nesta Challenges Open Up 2020 finalists and incredibly proud to be selected as a provider unlocking the power of Open Banking for an underserved segment of the market. Nesta Challenges will help us accelerate our growth – getting Tully into the hands of the 20 million people in the UK who are struggling financially and changing the way money works for people with money worries.”
Stuart Bungay, CEO
A solution which automates day to day decisions involved in managing money, designed to help millennial users clear their overdraft, pay off their credit cards, save more, and reach their life goals faster.
“We are really excited to be one of the finalists of the Open Up 2020 Challenge. We believe that the future of personal finance is autonomous finance and open banking is key to our product vision built around self-driving money. The support provided through this competition in raising awareness of open banking will be really helpful to our plans to scale up the business in 2020.”
Aseem Munshi, Founder and CEO
Wagestream allows employees to stream a proportion of their income as it’s earned, save directly from their salary, track wages and get impartial, financial education in real-time.
“We’re thrilled to be included in the finalists of Nesta Challenges’ Open Up 2020 Challenge. The funding will help us to continue to grow and develop solutions that give UK working people the financial security and stability they deserve. Such an approach is revolutionary in making a real impact to consumers’ lives.”
Peter Briffett, CEO