Ex-Habito CEO launches savings app Communion with £2.5m raise
Daniel Hegarty’s new fintech is combining savings with financial education to change young people’s relationship with money
“Saving is freedom.”
That’s the message underpinning Daniel Hegarty’s new savings app meets financial education platform Communion.
In fact, it is so integral to the fintech’s core that if you head to Communion’s website you’ll be met by a landing page with the words in big, bold font, a QR code to download the app and the suggestion it will both “build your buffer against the world” and “fix your relationship with money”. Bold claims.
Hegarty was inspired to found Communion by his complicated relationship with money growing up, and left his role as CEO at his first fintech, digital mortgage broker Habito, back in July to help others fix theirs.
“I want us to move a whole generation on from relating money to feelings of shame, anxiety and profound fear for their futures,” Hegarty wrote on LinkedIn.
“I want us all to move with confidence in our decisions and a deep understanding of what affects our ability to realise our aspirations. It’s time to break the cycle of financial disempowerment.”
Hegarty has just secured £2.5m in pre-seed funding for the startup in a round led by Revolut and Copper backers Target Global, and a number of prominent investors.
The app, currently only available to Apple users, has a clear emphasis on community, with occasional undertones of a spiritual guide.
Members of the community are guided through what is described as a habit-forming 10-day “saving ritual” that requires a £1 per day deposit for 10 days into an “F.U.nd” — a “fuck you fund” of sorts — to help “unlearn harmful beliefs”.
Hegarty himself appears on screen speaking in melodic, hushed tones to talk the user through the required steps, and several months’ worth of daily 90-second financial education videos.
Having previously been criticised at Habito for the lack of a personal touch, Hegarty is now front and centre and communicating with his users.
According to the company, it uses psychology and behavioural science to tackle “underlying and pervasive money anxiety”.
“The difference between doing the thing you’ve always wanted to do, and never having the chance isn’t hustling, get-rich-quick-schemes or meme stocks — it’s saving. But as simple as that sounds, saving is a really hard thing to do,” he continued.
“Pretty much everything around us prevents us from being able to hold on to what we earn and no one is currently tackling the underlying pressures and biases that are at play when it comes to money.”
In the app, users earn 3.66 per cent on their instant access savings, but can increase this by a maximum of 2 per cent if they invite friends to the app, adding 0.2 per cent per new user.
Those users then start with an additional 0.2 per cent on their savings and are able to invite their friends and increase their interest rates up to a maximum of 5.66 per cent.
Until Communion introduces a subscription fee, it is attracting new users, and deposits, through referrals and its pre-seed raise.
In a market currently full of educational apps like Female Invest and Your Juno, and savings apps like Shares, Plum and Chip, it is making a bold statement of intention in collaboration with marketing agency Uncommon Creative Studio to try to set itself apart.