App which aims to help consumers understand and manage debt raises £1.2m

ilumoni, the start-up app that aims to help consumers understand and manage their borrowing better, has raised £1.2m in an over-subscribed seed funding round after successfully launching a trial version earlier this year.

Ilumoni chief executive Gary Wigglesworth

The artificial intelligence-driven fintech firm, which is based in Barnsley, had previously raised £455,000 in pre-seed funding, which saw the initial build of the first version of the app. The app went on to receive full Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation in January 2021 and has already attracted its first beta users.

The free app gives personal insights into how users borrow and repay, with full visibility of what they owe, including how long it will take to repay and how much their borrowing will cost in interest. This is combined with prompts and future scenarios that users can interact with to find repayment amounts or alternative products that cost less in interest, help pay balances sooner, or free up cash.

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The latest round of investment was over-subscribed, despite two increases, and has attracted an additional 20 plus angel investors to the business.

The new funding will take the product to market and beyond, with general App and Play Store release planned for later in the year. Early adopters are able to become beta users of the app via the ilumoni website.

In addition to the funding, ilumoni has appointed two non-executive directors to its board, new investor James Eden and existing investor Simon Moran.

Mr Eden said: “While there are many emerging tools that champion consumers’ financial degrees of freedom, there aren’t any that provide an independent view of borrowing and debt, despite the impact it can have on people’s financial and mental wellbeing. The purpose behind ilumoni, level of innovation and credentials of the team were more than enough to convince me this was an investment worth making. So much so that I am delighted also to be joining the board.”

Ilumoni chief executive Gary Wigglesworth, said: “We’re thrilled to have such a ringing endorsement of ilumoni with an over-subscribed funding round. There is a huge opportunity to help people to borrow well and it’s more important now than ever.”

According to the FCA, over half of all UK adults pay interest on their borrowing, rising to almost two thirds of working age adults, and recent statistics from StepChange show that 42 per cent of people have experienced a negative change in circumstances since the pandemic.

Mr Wigglesworth added: “Many borrowers need to manage their debt better, yet there is very little help available until they’re faced with formal debt management, such as IVAs.

“As with anything, prevention is better than cure, and we believe in better borrowing for everyone. ilumoni provides a tool that not only demystifies borrowing but provides practical ways to relieve the stress of debt and reduce how much it costs.

“We can’t wait to show people how, very often, small changes can make a big difference, and encourage them to borrow well.”

The same FCA study revealed that 59 per cent (30.6m) of adults are either overwhelmed by or overconfident in their financial numeracy; 45 per cent of 18-24 year olds rate their financial knowledge as low.”

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