London-based Cleo raises $10 million to replace banking apps with a digital financial assistant

Cleo-Team

Cleo, a digital assistant that helps people manage their finances, has secured $10 million in additional funding to become the global interface for money. The round was led by Balderton Capital, who joined existing backers like LocalGlobe, Niklas Zennstrom (Skype founder), and Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise founder). The latest $10 million of investment funding brings Cleo’s total investment raised to $15 million. Past year, we reported about a Cleo seed funding round in January and on in July.

Founded in 2016, Cleo already counts over 600,000 users, with 94% aged under 35. The AI has a fun and relatable personality which is helping to drive its rapid growth among millennials. Designed to help young people save, Cleo sets targets, tracks your spending, puts away savings automatically, and answers questions instantly and intelligently.

Users securely connect their bank accounts to Cleo, which sits on top, giving them personalised insight into their spending data. Predominantly millennials, Cleo’s users talk to the assistant in Facebook Messenger, where she (Cleo) creates a daily relationship between them and their money.

Cleo is now set to launch its own range of financial products. The company will continue to expand internationally, following a successful launch in North America in April 2018, which saw 350,000 people sign up within four months.

CEO Barney Hussey-Yeo stated: “From overdraft fees to credit cards, the traditional range of financial products doesn’t work for this generation. The model of retail banking is not set up for the people it serves. Cleo’s changing that, and is designed to solve a global problem. There’s an arms race going on to become the financial interface for this generation. A Google-size company will emerge in the next five years that achieves that.”

Rob Moffat, partner at Balderton Capital, commented: “In the future, people may not use a traditional bank account as their primary financial interface. Cleo has managed to strike the perfect balance between education and entertainment, bringing a unique personality that keeps users coming back. We believe that Cleo has the team and product to become the leading global player in the coming years.”