Founder success stories: Finimize
If flicking through the financial news fills you with dread (or just boredom!) then Finimize could be just what you need. Founded a little over a year ago, the website and mobile app provides financial news for everyday people, with content produced by industry experts and a focus on helping you take control of your money.
We met with Finimize founder, Maximilian Rofagha, to find out more about his start-up and get some words of wisdom from someone who's been there!
So, where did the Finimize concept come from?
The whole idea started with a problem that nobody was solving and after a while I realised I had to take it into my own hands.
For most of your life, everybody tells you to save, but no one really tells you what to do with your savings when you have them. In my previous job, I saved money in a bank account, but when I had saved a pot of money, I didn't know what to do with those savings. I quickly realized that everyone around me had no idea what to do either. I found it quite paradoxical that such smart, well educated people seemed to be financially illiterate. That really was the starting point for Finimize.
What separates you from your competitors?
Apart from paying for a financial advisor, which most people can't afford, or going to a price comparison site and trying to figure everything out yourself (dreadful!), there's nobody out there doing exactly what we're doing.
What stands us apart is that we are really focused on improving financial literacy and dedicated to providing useful information for our users. Our platform offers simplicity. People shouldn't be embarrassed if they don't know what an ISA is or how they should save for retirement. Finimize offers information that's sophisticated with a high level of quality whilst still being simple enough for a regular person. That really encapsulates why people like us.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My alarm clock! I'm more of an evening person.
A typical day in your life
What time do you get up in the morning? Around 7.30
What do you typically wear to work? Casual clothes – whatever feels comfortable
What do you do on your commute?
The first thing I do is check through my emails and go through our social channels. If I have time, I'll jot down new ideas and catch up with the team on Slack.
Where do you work? Co-working space?
We work in a co-working space in Clerkenwell called White Bear Yard. It's kind of an iconic place in the startup scene where a lot of the big London startups originated here. It's a cool atmosphere!
What do you do in the:
The very first thing after we've settled in is a daily standup at 09:30 where the whole team talks about what each of us achieved the day before and what we can achieve that day. Then everyone's on the same page.
Our main focus is on the product and engaging with our users – we show them what we're working on and test ideas and concepts with them. That's why for most of the morning I try and focus on the actual product and work with the product development team. Sometimes I have meetings with external partners, journalists or investors.
During the week everyone picks up whatever they want and usually eats at their desk as we power through our long to-do list. Every Friday as a team we grab some lunch and sit together and chat.
What time do you go to bed?
Usually at 1am – I'm a night owl!
How do you relax / have fun in the evening?
We're pretty hectic at the moment so we don't get much downtime. On the weekends I like to do some endurance sports like swimming or climbing.
Some pearls of wisdom
What's your best piece of advice for someone starting out? If you do start something then you really need to be very passionate and persistent about it – the reality is that it's not going to be a smooth ride and if you fail along the way, getting back up takes a lot of energy each time. If you don't really want it badly enough then you won't get there.
Do you have any life or work hacks? I'm a big fan of keeping your inbox to zero. I also recommend setting yourself time slots to focus on certain things throughout the day. Blocking out time helps me structure my day. When you're the founder of a company you don't have anybody telling you what to do all the time! You need to be self-motivated and organised.
Why do you like being a founder? It comes back to some of my previous answers. It's great to see something that doesn't exist become a reality. It's an incredible feeling when you know you're adding to people's lives. Speaking with users and hearing their stories of how they use Finimize really lifts our spirits.
Great stuff! Can you tell us a bit about how you chose your business insurance?
We spoke to other insurance providers and they didn't really understand start-ups and what we're trying to do as a business. They asked questions that they would ask huge corporates. We were looking for a tailored approach to suit our business needs. That's when we were recommended to contact Digital Risks!
Pros and cons of the agile approach
Agile tends to suit smaller, more adaptive businesses with strong core teams and a fluid communication style.
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