Student banking app Loot is close to announcing a funding round of more than £1 million and launching a new revamped app to rival the likes of Mondo, according to a source close to the company.
Loot is a money management app targeted at students and linked to a pre-paid card. It launched last September to coincide with the university year.
Loot has so far raised £200,000 from Charles Tyrwhitt founder Nick Wheeler and 7 City bankers. But a source close to the company told Business Insider that it will shortly announce a further funding injection that will take seed funding to over £1 million.
The source close to the company also told BI that Loot is also planning to launch a revamped version of its app alongside its new funding. Loot’s website teases budgeting and savings tools that are both “Coming Soon.” The features mimic those included in many app-only bank startups like Berlin’s Number26 and London’s Mondo.
Loot declined to comment on the funding and new app features.
22-year-old founder and CEO Ollie Purdue only graduated in 2013 and had the idea for Loot at the University of the West of England. He told BI last year: “This is the thing with students, every three months they will get £1,000 [$1,580], or £1,500 [$2,370], so the total balance is less important because if I open up the app it could say I’ve got £2,000 [$3,160], but I don’t know if that’s £10 [$15] a day or if I’ve got loads of money.”
Loot solves this by telling you how much you can afford to spend based on upcoming bills and the time till your next student loan instalment. Since launch the startup has attracted a lot of buzz. Our profile of Purdue and the company was picked up on by The Lad Bible, which is hugely popular with students, rival BroBible, national student news website The Tab, and The Memo.
Purdue told us last year that the startup is in talks to partner with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and other banks are reportedly interested. By using a pre-paid card, Loot can quickly sign up international students, something banks struggle with.
Purdue told us: “We can onboard a customer in two minutes. We just need date of birth, name, email address — really basic. Then we can do stuff like scan their passport and post them a letter to verify their address later.” Loot initially imposes a £2,000 spending limit to comply with anti-money laundering regulation until it’s sure you are who you say you are.
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