By Amelia Isaacs on Tuesday 29 March 2022
After raising a total of £6.5m and £1m in just eight minutes, Chip has its sights firmly set on becoming a saving and investment super app.
Savings and investing app Chip raised £6.5m from over 9,000 investors this week in its latest crowdfunding round, taking the next step on its journey to becoming a super app.
The Crowdcube raise kicked off on March 16 to B-shareholders, with the company raising £1m in just eight minutes.
It then opened to the rest of its investing community, one of the largest in European fintech, and closed 11 days later.
This round marks the first time the company has held an additional Spring raise, having opted to go to their investors just once a year around September since 2018.
Chip’s CEO and founder Simon Rabin spoke to AltFi about the company’s last six months of growth, allowing their customers and shareholders to lead the way and where this leaves things now, as they strive towards becoming “THE savings and investing super app”.
“[Our investor community] is at the heart of everything that we do in allowing our customers to become shareholders and investors in the business,” Rabin said.
“The purpose of that is to have a community of customers that drive the product direction and also fund the growth of the business.”
When users sign up to Chip, he explained, they start to save and invest and are given the opportunity to become shareholders in the business.
“They kind of go on this journey, become very engaged and form part of our customer and investor communities which then drive product development and overall direction of the business,” he said.
Chip is by far Europe’s largest crowdfunded business, Rabin said, which gives them a community-driven ethos and allows them to develop the product in a way that works for both the customers and the shareholders as they are one and the same.
There is no conflict between big institutional investors and customers who want different things when the customers are the shareholders, Rabin explained.
This ‘John Lewis’ business model was not the company’s from the outset, however.
“It wasn't a part of our thinking when we started, but I think as we've seen the power or our investing community grow, and we've seen the hunger of new customers to want to be part of it, and the value that we get from it, we've been encouraged to kind of expand it and pursue that model,” Rabin said.
Deviating from their traditional annual crowdfunding schedule was also something that was customer-led.
“This is the first time we've [crowdfunded] in the springtime, and we were unsure at first whether we should just stick to our once a year formula, but we've grown a hell of a lot over the last six months as a business,” he said.
“We had a lot of customers kind of knocking on the door to become investors. So we thought, ‘Right let's open it up. Let's see how it goes.’ And we had an incredible response.”
After raising a company-record £1m in just eight minutes and a total of £6.5m, Chip is setting itself up well for future plans to expand.
The money will be used to continue the company’s plan to evolve into a saving and investing super app.
“Chip's ambition is to own the savings and investments base and to give the customer that one-stop-shop for all things related to growing their money and building wealth,” Rabin said.
“And that has been an evolution from when the product started and that has been driven by our customers, by our investor community, because we really listen to what the customers want and the directions they push us.”
“This is where we've arrived, so it is really down to them.”
The company has come a long way since starting out in 2017 building tools to help people save money.
Now, having grown into an investor and customer community, the team at Chip have allowed themselves to be led by their shareholders.
After the crowdfund took place with 9,200 investors, the shareholder community grew to 25,500.
There are now more than half a million people using the app, and the company has seen a record number of new savers join in 2022 to date, with 1,000-2,000 new accounts opened every day in January and tens of millions of pounds in new deposits.
“It’s truly, truly exciting, and quite humbling,” Rabin said on seeing the customer growth over the past six months and the way users have become investors in the business.
So what is the next step for Chip on its path to becoming the Revolut of the saving and investment world?
The company is in the early stages of planning its European expansion, which should be happening early next year.
More immediately, it will be launching Alternative Asset Investing, which will enable customers to diversify their portfolios by investing in luxury goods such as vintage cars, wine, whisky and art.
There are clearly many more big things coming down the pipeline for Chip.
“With inflation where it is and with interest rates where they are, it's time to start building wealth for the future,” Rabin said.
“And Chip offers a great set of tools to help you do that.”
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