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Saving for your first home is no easy feat. From finding a home, to saving for the deposit and getting the right mortgage, the process is highly fragmented and riddled with moving parts.
You may know it from its sleek branding, or honest, nothing-to-hide name, but Nude is building what may become one of the most important resources for people looking to save for major life goals.
Having raised £1.7 million in 2019, and won an innovation grant of £440,000 from Scottish Enterprise, Nude is building a highly personalised, tech-driven platform that brings all the elements of buying a home into one place, helping users save for and purchase their first home, faster and easier than ever before.
We sat down with founder and CEO Crawford Taylor to find out more.
What is Nude’s vision?
We’re building an end-to-end platform designed to help people achieve their most important goals in life by making it easier and faster than ever before, starting with home ownership.
How did Nude first start?
We had a desire to make the financial system fairer, simpler and more transparent and to help with the huge wealth imbalance, particularly between the older and younger generations. It’s those in the financial world, and those with access to financial advice (including financially aware parents) that generally benefit most from the system as it exists today. We want to give greater accessibility to everyone.
What’s the history behind the name?
Our name was chosen as we’ve got nothing to hide. Our business model is a transparent one; the more we help our users save, the more money we make. No hidden fees, no sketchy small print, no selling data – just making our customers and community wonderful with their money.
How is Nude helping users by disrupting the market?
Our aim is to make it easier and faster to achieve life goals. We make it fun and engaging and to automate the tedious stuff. On average, renting is about 20% more expensive than owning. So with every year we shave off a user’s buying timeline, they save circa. £6,000 (based on a salary of £30,000). If we help someone get into their home three years earlier, they would save £18,000!
As well as saving time and money, we also go further than any other financial institution in guiding our users through the home buying process with fun, lightweight, in-app content like blog posts, videos and a full audio course.
What does the competitive landscape look like and how does Nude differentiate?
There are both the incumbent traditional banks, like LBG and Barclays, and new fintech startups. We have a different set of values, brand and a clear path to profitability.
Our app is initially focused entirely on helping our users buy their first home – from helping them create their savings goal (and associated ‘time to goal’) by looking at where they’d like to live and what type of home – and to helping them, if they need it, to understand things like stamp duty and legal fees in an easily digestible way.
Our interactive onboarding process lets a user understand how long it’ll take them to save up their deposit. Once launched, our Lifetime ISA will provide customers a 25% government bonus on a customer’s savings (up to £1,000 per year) plus other savings solutions to help them get there.
We’ve also built a data and behavioural science platform to analyse our users’ income and spend, and offer insights and ideas on how they can get their time to goal down, to buy their home sooner. We were awarded a government innovation grant to help build this.
We have strong values in our desire to reinvent and help. You can check out our full pact here. We also benefit from a very creative and differentiated brand identity that can be a lot more focused and niche than other players in the market. Our brand is built on the premise of being transparent, fair, human and different.
We believe it takes a completely different approach to give the level of experience we’re providing and to truly help people. We automate all the boring, difficult, challenging things in life to help our users get to where they want to be, faster. Nude’s like having a friend that’s really good with money with you, all the time.
What has been the greatest challenge since starting Nude?
Coming up with the name! Fundraising is also always challenging, especially during a pandemic, so we’re extra thankful for our wonderful early backers.
Since the start of our Seedrs campaign the queue for early access to Nude has increased from 1,700 to over 3,300. Our ‘Adultish’ newsletter has seen a rise in subscribers from 7,500 to over 10,000. So we’re confident we’re heading in the right direction.
What will be the primary uses of proceeds from this round?
We have a few key goals. Firstly, we’re aiming to build our savings platform and launch savings solutions including our Lifetime ISA. Secondly, we want to further develop our app with a focus on customer engagement. Lastly, we want to really supercharge customer growth. This fundraising round will help us accomplish all three.
What new features/plans do you have in the pipeline?
In addition to our Lifetime ISA, we’re looking to build even more insights into the platform, to help people save more and buy their home sooner. We’re going to continue working on developing engaging in-app content that will make the whole process even easier, and more engaging for users. Once we’ve submitted an application for the regulatory licensing, we want to be able to offer the best possible mortgage for our users, all through the Nude app.
Eventually, we’ll be looking to incorporate ways of sharing a savings goal with a partner, by linking multiple bank accounts and allowing our customers to explore the dynamics of their collective income and spending more easily. We’ll be investigating stocks and shares savings solutions, and children’s accounts, as well as helping people save for other milestones – whether that’s affording a car, wedding, or planning for retirement. With all that in mind, we’re also planning to bring Nude to international markets, so that people everywhere can tackle the bigger goals in life.
Why are you looking forward to bringing on Seedrs investors?
We’re looking forward to building a larger investor base of like-minded people who’d like to make the financial world fairer, easier and more transparent. We’d also like them to be early users of our app and provide feedback and ideas on how we can develop and improve it.
What’s one thing you’d look for in your first home?
A great kitchen, I love food (I’m way better at eating than cooking).
What’s the number one thing you’re looking forward to when lockdown ends?
A holiday overseas where it’s drier and warmer than July in Scotland. I like holidays almost as much as I love food. They go very well together.
What’s one life hack you’d share with future generations?
Live within your means, who cares what other people do or think? Instead try and save what you can for meaningful things, you’ll be richer in the long term.
To find out more about Nude, visit the pitch.
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