When investing, your capital is at risk.
With the Covid-19 crisis impacting peoples’ livelihoods around the world, strategic personal financial planning has never been more crucial.
Championing profit and purpose, Lifetise’s platform allows users to plan for the biggest financial goals in their lives, in an interactive and gamified way. By evaluating different scenarios, Lifetise shows users that they have options, and that they can design a life that allows them to achieve everything that’s important to them.
We sat down with the co-founders Caroline Hughes and Nick Wasmuth to learn more.
What is Lifetise’s mission?
Our mission is to help people afford their lives – from buying a home, to having kids, getting married and preparing for retirement – whilst transforming the financial services industry in the process. At the moment, with all the economic uncertainty and how many people are impacted financially by the coronavirus, it feels like an even more urgent mission.
We started Lifetise because everyone we knew was facing the same challenges: trying to get on (or up) the property ladder, paying off student debt, deciding when to start a family. Nick had worked at PruHealth Vitality, so he saw first hand how traditional financial advice delivered by IFAs wasn’t answering these questions. It was too focused on investment and pension products. So there was a whole generation of us who weren’t getting the financial advice we needed around “how can I afford to…?”
What changes in user activity have you witnessed in the evolution of the Covid-19 climate?
Our site traffic has increased by 200% since the crisis started. So many people find themselves out of work, or furloughed on reduced salaries and struggling to know what to do. We were very quick to respond to the crisis and put out information to signpost people to financial support.
We’re actually building a specific tool right now to help you forecast how your money is affected by Covid-19, so you can see what impact it has on your income and expenses looking from now into the future. We want to help you see your financial situation clearly over the next few months, so you can see what you control and take action
Are there any exciting initiatives you’re undergoing to tackle these challenging times?
Yes, it’s now our primary focus – helping people manage their money during the crisis and get access to the financial support available.
We’ve been incredibly busy. We’ve created an information hub with guides to the financial help available to people.
We’ve also created an app to give personalised advice to the self-employed and freelancers, as the schemes for them are hard to navigate.
What differentiates Lifetise from other players in the market?
This is two-fold. Firstly, we show you the future! Other personal finance fintechs give you insights on your past spending, or micro habits around savings or investing (roundups). We help you see the big picture, so you can work out what to do with your money to achieve the life you want. We take bigger life goals and break them down into step-by-step, manageable plans.
Secondly, our product design is pretty unique because we’ve designed Lifetise in a very game-like way. Our ultimate vision is to build “The Sims for your real life” – a world where you can play out different life scenarios and see how they impact your finances.
What has been the most exciting success for the company so far?
It would have to be our involvement in Accenture’s Fintech accelerator in London in 2019. To be one of only 20 companies selected from several hundred was an honour in itself. To then have the opportunity to pitch our products to senior leaders at 35 of the world’s largest financial institutions was incredible and opened up our B2C2C revenue stream.
From it we’re now deep in negotiations with a major UK bank for a white-label licensing deal which would potentially give us access to millions of customers. Plus Accenture are now selling us to international banks as part of their digital transformation solution (we’ve had inbound requests from banks in Europe and the Middle East). Accenture runs the accelerator in New York and Singapore too, so this will help us with overseas expansion.
What will the proceeds from this raise help you achieve?
In addition to the specific Covid-19 tools, your investment will enable us to complete our Lifeplanner platform. We’re really excited about it – it lets you model lots of different life events, so you start to see how your life would look if you took one path over another. It’s like choose your own adventure!
What’s one tip about money management you wish you had learned sooner?
The power of exponential returns. If every 20 year old acted on them they’d be flying by the time they hit their 40’s!
What’s one piece of advice you would give to the future generation?
Replace fractional reserve banking with a sovereign money system that funds a universal basic income – obviously!
To find out more, visit Lifetise’s pitch.