London-based Cleo bags €76 million to empower young people with better money management

Picking up a hefty €76 million, London-based fintech startup Cleo wants to empower Gen-Z to form better money habits. The financial assistant app provides tools and support to positively impact young people’s financial lives.

 With the cost of living soaring, young people across Europe are feeling their purse strings draw tighter. For Gen-Z and Millenials, the current financial crisis that we are all feeling pinch is hitting even harder. With wages not keeping up with inflation and prices climbing steeply, young generations are finding it hard to make ends meet – never mind the stress of trying to save to get on the property ladder or prepare for later life. 

Driven by the desire to make a difference and positively impact lives, Cleo was launched as a financial assistant that can help empower young people to make better money habits, and amidst the current financial climate, it’s soaring in popularity. The startup, founded in 2016, has just picked up €76 million of fresh funding. 

The Series C fundraise was led by Belgium-based investment company Sofina, supported by participation from existing investors, including EQT Ventures & Balderton Capital.

Based in London, Cleo supports people throughout their entire financial lives, from their first paycheque to their first home. The company seeks to positively impact the lives of millions of young people with limited financial literacy who face increased pressure on their finances as the cost-of-living crisis escalates. 

Barnaby Hussey-Yeo, Founder and CEO of Cleo, said: “We’re here to provide personalised financial support and guidance to these young people, giving them a helping hand as they seek to better manage their finances, build their credit profile and weather the storm caused by the cost-of-living crisis.”

The idea is simple. By reaching people at the beginning of their financial journey with clear and simple guidance, delivered in an engaging and refreshing tone of voice, financial wellbeing is improved for the long term. As a testament to this, the London-based fintech reports that 84% of people feel better about their money after just one month of using the app. Meanwhile, average engagement levels with Cleo are more than 250% higher than competitors.

Already the startup has been able to help millions of users on their financial journey with over half converting to one of Cleo’s paying subscription tiers within the first 12 months of downloading the app – an impressive feat for a financial app.

Moving forward, the new funds will be used to accelerate the growth of the app, with plans to expand further into the US and expand the team from 140 members to over 220. As financial times become more and more pressured, and more and more young people begin to look for solutions to help them navigate these times, the Cleo app is sure to keep growing. It’s the perfect example of how a purpose-driven innovation can both have a lasting, positive impact as well as have success. 

Hussey-Yeo added: “Later-stage fundraising has become a lot more challenging since the start of the downturn, and we’re gratified by the enthusiasm shown to us by both new and existing investors. Our investors recognise the vital work we’re doing in giving young people a stronger financial foothold. The goal is to build an enduring, trusted relationship with this audience – by speaking their language and giving them financial services support tailored to their unique needs and circumstances. It’s a huge market opportunity and one that, thanks to this raise, we’re well-placed to capitalise upon.”

Harold Boël, CEO at Sofina said: “Investing in Cleo illustrates our strategy of building a diversified portfolio of businesses leveraging technology to improve people’s lives. Cleo’s mission of bringing fintech-enabled personal financial empowerment to many people worldwide resonates with our own. We were impressed by the drive and the talent of the team and look forward to our partnership.”