SaveUp, a personal finance company that rewards users for financial responsibility, is the first startup with beta access to a data aggregation API that Mint parent company Intuit may roll out in the future.
Intuit chose SaveUp to beta test the API because of the startup’s commitment to changing how the average person views his or her finances. Since its November launch, SaveUp has helped its users allocate more than $100 million to savings accounts or debt repayments.
Mind-numbing complexity has primed the personal finance market for disruption. And while Mint, which has been around since 2006, has taken a bold first step, some users find its interface too complicated. SaveUp can help solve that problem.
“Maybe 10 percent of users appreciate [Mint’s data visualization],” says SaveUp’s CEO and co-founder Priya Haji. “And then the other 90 percent of people’s eyes glaze over because it’s too much data, and they’re intimidated by all of it.”
SaveUp didn’t always focus on the simplification of personal finance. The company evolved from Haji’s desire to bring a model from the UK that turned depositing money into a savings account into the equivalent of buying a lottery ticket. Bringing this model to the US introduced a number of legal roadblocks that made the original concept next to impossible to build. Hence the pivot.
Haji and her co-founder devised an elegant solution: Instead of handling money directly, SaveUp offers credits for each dollar that goes toward repaying a debt or into a savings account. Credits can be exchanged for tickets that can lead to a variety of prizes, from a bouquet of flowers to a grand prize of $2 million.
This lottery model has led to high engagement rates. Not only have users saved over $100 million using SaveUp, but 30 percent of those users visit the site every day. 60 percent visit the site weekly, and a whopping 80 percent visit the site at least once a month.
Beta access to Intuit’s data aggregation tools speak to SaveUp’s potential, as Intuit could have either built its own solution or purchased SaveUp outright. The fact that SaveUp still stands speaks to the company’s potential and commitment to encouraging financial responsibility.
SaveUp has raised $2 million in seed funding, and brings in revenue from sponsors and through partnerships with financial institutions.
Haji isn’t afraid to dream big. She says, “Our ultimate goal is that tens of millions of Americans will use SaveUp to pay down billions of dollars in debt and increase savings.”