Chip (Plum competitor) raises series A


#1

Automatic saving app (and Plum competitor) Chip has raised a series A. From their investor email:

“we have secured Series A funding to take Chip to the next level. This will rapidly accelerate our growth, enable us to invest substantially in our technology and launch ChipX. This round values the company at £14,400,000, representing a 236% increase in valuation since our last round. In the last 12 months, we have grown to 75,000 accounts, built Chip 2.0, achieved over 300% growth in all key performance metrics and ended the quarter with 45,000 active savers, processed £58m of saves and £36m of deposits.”

But their recent deployment of their new app has been a right old mess, sadly, and I imagine it has dinged the confidence of users (autosaves not working, getting account balances horribly wrong etc).


Chip App series A
#2

Unsure what they’ll have in v2 of the app but v1 feels like a digital bank ‘feature’ rather than a product in itself. Lloyds Bank have been offering rounds up to a savings account for years now… Anyway Chip pitched at Balderton Capital’s office yesterday, I didn’t go but I got a email about this and it listed all the other startups pitching at the same event.

Coconut’s pitch from that event sounds interesting: Coconut is the current account that takes care of your accounting and tax, designed specifically for self-employed people and small business owners.


#3

v1 had the great virtue of actually working. v2 feels like they have tried to shoehorn a lot of clever into it and inadvertently broken the basics. They may have fixed it all by now, but I am a bit cautious about trying it again.

Coconut sounds a bit like Tide, maybe, plus some other accounting magic?


#4

Yes pretty much like Tide but it’ll also try to automate parts of your tax and accounting.


Edit - interestingly Coconut Platform Ltd was previously known as “MONIZO LTD” from 07 Dec 2015 to 29 Aug 2018


(Big Boss) #5

Who are the backers?


#6

Chip is all crowdfunded from what I can tell.

Coconut is funded by a few, the biggest name is Techstars.


#7

Think Chip is mostly crowdfunded to date - or maybe an angel round as well. The series A is 4m, led by Balderton, don’t know how much they’ve committed but Chip are reserving 1m of the raise for prev investors.

Not sure if that is brilliant or terrifying.


(Asa Carter) #8

What are your opinions on the series A funding on Crowdcube for the chip savings app?

https://getchip.uk/investors


(Rob Nicholson) #9

I looked at Chip last time round and again this time but haven’t been swayed to invest - perhaps because I wouldn’t personally use the product. But it seems like they’ve got a lot of traction and have been progressing well…

I’d be interested to hear other thoughts?


(Alex Sherwood) #10

Hey! A topic’s been created here about Chip’s Series A so I’ve moved yours over to keep the discussion in one place, I hope that’s alright!


#11

Not really sure about their USP as it’s basically a savings account (or am I missing something obvious?). Normal banks as well as challenger banks have identical or similar in the form of accounts / pots / vaults.


(Asa Carter) #12

Chip v1 is a savings app (which I use) but the new product is a basically a peer to peer lending platform with returns of up to 8% as far as I can tell.


(Asa Carter) #13

I’d be interested to hear why you wouldn’t use the app?

It has some limitations such at its limited to saving a max £10k and you can only save a maximum of £100/day but other than that the 5% interest is a good rate.

I’ve been using it for a couple of months and it’s working well for me.


#14

For me it’s not that useful as it’s currently only available for the UK and I’m not that big on lending.


#15

I was quite a fan of Chip v1 - it worked, in that you could find you’d saved a fair bit without really noticing. I invested a little in one of its earlier rounds. I think Chip v2 adds “putting your saved money to work in p2p lending”, which is interesting.

The problem I had with v2 was that the basics felt pretty broken. Small things like the app falling over, the notifications seeming to go missing etc. And big things like your saved balance having to be corrected downward (several times) after they erroneously told savers they’d saved higher amounts. And your saved balance not being available to withdraw, which felt alarming. Those are the basics for a saving app, and they should not be getting them wrong.

I hope that was just an temporary problem with v2, and that it is all fixed perfectly now. But it left me feeling like Chip’s competence with product is way behind its competence at raising money, and I have stopped using it. I do hope they do really well, though I’m not investing further in this current round.


(Rob Nicholson) #16

I stick £200 into a Santander regular saver which has 5% interest. I believe Chip’s is 5% after referring 4/5 people but only lasts for a year before dropping to 1% - which is relatively good, but the Santander 123 account offers 1.5% up to £20k. (I then use Monzo for spending!) I wouldn’t use the loans and would go directly to P2P if I wanted that to cut out the middleman…

With crowdfunding it’s difficult to invest in something that you don’t use, or fully believe in, as you’ll be invested for many years!