Fintech startup Bud sign deal with HSBC, raises £1.5 million

Fintech startup Bud is just two years old and has just 23 staff but has managed to sign a deal with HSBC, one of the world’s biggest banks.

Bud also recently raised £1.5 million from backers including investment bank Investec and Spain’s Sabadell Bank. Bud’s founder and CEO Ed Maslaveckas, 28, says the company is in talks with a further 42 banks around the world about possible partnerships.

How has a startup run by two twenty-somethings managed to get the ear of so many big, established banks?

“It’s a lot of sleepless nights,” according to  Ed Maslavecka.

 “Ultimately, large organisations are very hierarchical,” he said. “If you can make someone in a bank look good to their boss, you can continue that up the chain and eventually you get somewhere near the top. When you get in the room you’re having some quite interesting conversations about interesting concepts and you figure out a way to work together. That’s the process we’ve worked out now.”

Bud has built a platform for banks to build products on that use other company’s services. To understand what it does, you have to get your head around a concept called APIs. APIs are technical plug-ins that let you use a service provided by another company.

“What is the thing they can do to create a defensive play? They already have access to financial data – how can you build on that? Connect that with some decision making process and then connect that with some other APIs to create these really nice experiences that haven’t been built before. That’s what our platform does.”

HSBC, for example, is using Bud to build an app for its subsidiary First Direct that will trawl databases for the best broadband and energy deals, personalised for each customer.

“We’re trying to change the banking app from the place where you do your banking to the place where you get things done in your life,” Maslaveckas said.

Rather than just going to the bank when you need a mortgage, Bud could help banks build an app that lets customers search for houses, sell their own property, and get a mortgage all in one space, for example.

“We want to create one seamless experience,” Maslaveckas said.

Dunning said: “We don’t want to vie for people’s attention – we believe the banking app is already somewhere that makes sense for the user to get things done. It’s just lining things up properly.”


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