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Start-up drops out of fintech accelerator programme

One of the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator’s seven start-ups has pulled the pin on its business.

Thursday, April 27th 2017, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

The accelerator revealed the participants in its first programme in January. They were offered support through Creative HQ's Lightning Lab acceleration programme, with 20% seed funding in exchange for 6% equity in their businesses.

One of the companies chosen was Investful, set up by former NZX employees Andrew Montague and Carl Douglas.

It was hoped that it would be a platform to give New Zealanders access to financial advice, assessing their risk profile and financial goals to build a portfolio, and rebalance as required.

Montague said he saw demand from investors who did not want to pay high fees. He said it was difficult to beat the market in the long term and automating portfolio management would remove the need for multiple fund managers.

But he announced this week that Investful would be shutting down.

"We are very proud and thankful to all of you who have shown your interest and supported us along the way," he said in an email.

"While this is the end of the road for Investful, the team still believe the financial services industry needs to provide more value to consumers and will continue to work on problems to help solve this problem."

Kristen Lunman, of Lightning Lab, confirmed that Investful had opted to leave the programme last week.

"They entered the programme with the intention of building a wealth management platform using roboadvice. Three weeks ago, they decided that this wasn't a defensible value proposition in the long run and seriously considered a 'reboot'," she said.

"Digging into Andrew's personal motivations, we discovered that he actually wanted to build a new banking experience. This new direction was not shared by his co-founder Carl and I'm sure you can imagine how difficult it is to complete an intensive programme, let alone build a company, as a single co-founder.

"Andrew made the decision last Thursday to exit the programme to collect his thoughts and consider next steps. CreativeHQ - and our programme sponsors - have offered Andrew our full support when he's ready to tackle this venture. As for Carl, he's expressed his interest in supporting another team in the programme. These things do happen of course and it's our job to exit ventures as gracefully as possible. Before funding is a bonus."

She said Investful had returned its first tranche of funding and had backed out before it received the second.

Tags: fintech

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