UK’s AI enhanced Personal Finance Chatbot Cleo Raises $80M

UK’s AI-enhanced personal finance chatbot Cleo has achieved a $500 million valuation following an $80 million round, according to an update shared by Sky News.

The investment round, which has been announced around 18 months after a $44 million fundraise by Cleo, was joined by technology investor Sofina.

Established in 2016, London-headquartered Cleo integrates with clients’ banking accounts and then leverages artificial intelligence to study/analyze spending habits and transaction histories in order to help with money management.

The firm currently claims several million users, the majority of them being based in the US, and has attracted a solid following among Gen Z with its conversational style, epitomized by a “roast mode”.

The proceeds will be channeled towards further expanding Cleo’s services and increase its workforce from around 140 to 220 professionals.

As noted by its management, Cleo launched in 2016 because banking is “boring” and “broken.”

Cleo’s not a bank – “she’s got your back,” the company notes while adding that their mission is to “fight for the world’s financial health.”

Using simplicity and humor, Cleo reportedly “helped 4 million people improve their relationship with money and financial health.”

Cleo’s a platform “for the 99% – an AI assistant defining a new category, one that goes beyond saving and budgets to actually changing how we feel about our finances.”

Through chat, the platform “provides you with deep insight about your money, while suggesting personalized financial products that increase your ability to save.”

That said, it’s really their tone of voice that makes them “special.”

The company added:

“We’re a product for the next generation. We’re meeting our users where they are and building the type of relationship they expect. That also means dropping the BS.”

They also mentioned:

“In the past year or so (yes, mid pandemic) we’ve grown the Cleo team from 45 to over 100, closed a $44m Series B led by EQT Ventures and helped over 4 million people on their journey towards financial health.”

They further noted:

“Find your place at the Fintech that’s fighting back. You know that awful feeling when you wake up wondering if what you’re about to do for the next 8 hours actually matters? That doesn’t happen here much. Everything we do is grounded in purpose. And because we’re all showing up for the same reason, collaboration comes easy.”

They continued:

“We’re a culture of stepping up. We want, and expect you to grow and develop. You’ll have our support in everything you do. But more importantly, you’ll have our trust. We treat our people as humans first, employees second. Because we can’t fight for the world’s financial health, if we’re not healthy ourselves. We also prioritise everyone having a voice. All perspectives are embraced here and we’re humble enough to know that we’ll always need more of them. Not less.”

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