Bud started life in 2016 as a B2C platform to help people improve their financial well-being, before moving into banking with a platform that allows banks to harnesses open banking.
The UK Fintech, which is based in Old Street London, now finds itself at the centre of investigations being done at banks looking to launch products utilising open banking APIs.
According to George Dunning, Bud’s CTO and a co-founder, when Bud it began it was focused on a marketplace model, which helped people understand which financial products best suited them.
This was firmly B2C, but he said as the founders quickly realised that people do not want to go out and search for the products on the market, they want to be told which suite them and why.
To do this Bud’s founders realised they had to understand the customer and that applying machine learning to transactional data could allow them to do this. Bud’s B2B to C model was born. It now offers a platform to banks, which then make it available to their customers. “Our clients are financial institutions but we always have the end customer in mind.”
About five banks use the platform. All of which are trying to access the development methods used by startups like Bud. “Financial institutions find it difficult to innovate at speed and get things to the market quickly because they have to be sure of what they do with customers.”
With the introduction of the Open Banking regulations the banks need these capabilities more than ever. “Open banking has opened up a number of opportunities and banks want to capitalise on them so we work with the banks to help them get to market quickly and showcase what the technology can do.”
Bud already has UK banking giant HSBC as a customer of its platform, through its First Direct online and telephone banking arm. “We had a number of meetings with them over a period of a few months about what the product would look like.” It then built money management app artha and with HSBC ran a six-month pilot.
The pilot was a success in identifying what customers want. HSBC will now turn artha off on 15 March and integrate the parts of the app that proved popular into its mobile app. “The aim of the artha app trial was to explore how open API technology could help customers in new ways by connecting their different financial products and service providers in one place,” said HSBC.
Bud now has about 70 members of staff with one of its main current challenges growing this team. “We will double the size of the team over the next year.”
Bud is not your usual fintech with about 80% of its staff coming from non-financial backgrounds. Dunning comes from a tech background while co-founder and CEO Ed Maslaveckas worked in business development at Salesforce.com, where he was exploring the fintech sector.
They have recruited a diverse team. Workers come from fields ranging from music producers, to astrophysicists.
Dunning said as a result the company “approaches the problems faced by the financial services industry with a different attitude and from a different angle.”
“We have not looked to hire people from within the financial services sector,” he added.
About half the staff are from technology backgrounds working on the product. These include backend developers, data scientists, iOs and Android developers
Bud recently received $20m Series A funding with backing from HSBC, Goldman Sachs, ANZ and Investec, amongst others, which might give some indication of the banks looking at this type of technology.
This money might partly go into its plans to revamp its original B2C platform. Dunning said Bud is currently revamping this and is going to put something out to market this year.
Read the previous fintech interviews
Part 15 Previse, Part 14 Finastra, Part 13 InstaReM, Part 12 Eucaps, Part 11 AimBrain, Part 10 Meniga, Part 9 TrueLayer, Part 8 InvestCloud, Part 7 ClauseMatch, Part 6 Rebuilding Society, Part 5 Honcho, Part 4 Akoni, Part 3 Wrisk, Part 2 CreditLadder, Part 1 Taina Technology