At 24 years old, most people graduate college, consider different careers options and think about what they want to achieve in their professional lives.
But for every rule, there is an exception. Some 24-year-olds run successful businesses. And some even build their own banks.
We know at least two such exceptions: Ollie Purdue (25) and Jeremy Berger (24).
They have at least two things in common: both are young (obviously), and both have co-founded digital banking startups. And most importantly, both entrepreneurs are similar in their innovative and inclusive approach to banking.
Unlike Jeremy Berger’s Arival, Ollie Purdue’s Loot is actually not a bank: it is a digital current account provider, created by 22-year-old Purdue in 2015 as a smart-money management app for students, aimed at making their money tracking and saving experience better.
“From day one this was at the heart of every decision we made: to make life easier for our users”, – Purdue says, “While banks have many other roles, our job is to provide a digital current account and so we can really focus on how to make this experience as simple and enjoyable as possible for our users.”
While Loot is thriving in the U.K., another young entrepreneur is on a similar, albeit different mission. To make banking more accessible and enjoyable, 24-year-old Jeremy Berger went even further than digital accounts: he decided to create a bank targeting underbanked businesses. The first digital fintech bank for SMEs.
Jeremy’s story is quite remarkable. In 2017, he decided to move to Singapore on a blind leap of faith and a hunch that he wanted to immerse himself into the Singaporean startup & venture capital ecosystem. Shortly thereafter, he took the Singapore community by storm and co-founded Arival Bank, which he has built from the ground up. Just like Ollie Purdue, Jeremy raised money, developed the team, and managed to prevail during the many challenges of starting a bank from scratch.
He applied for banking license in the US, and now finds himself in the same process in Europe, which is no easy task for a young 24-year-old. Jeremy won the coveted best of show award at Finovate, the equivalent of an Oscar in the fintech world. The same month, he led the way again as Arival came home winners not only from the Fintech Inn pitching competition (the largest fintech conference in the Baltics), but also at the London Design Awards.
“It is not important how innovative your technology will be, or how you will “disrupt” the market,” Jeremy says in his article “Starting a bank at 24 years old” which recently went viral, “The simple things are more vital: who you are, how well you understand your future customers, how your experience and reputation will help the regulator believe you are not an accidental player.”
Both entrepreneurs aim at solving the real problems of real people they have encountered in real lives: whether it be the negative personal experience with money management apps or the discrimination of startups by traditional banks. While Loot is successfully targeting individual users, Arival’s clients are small and medium-sized businesses from the US & abroad, underserved by banks.
Despite catering to different audiences, Ollie Purdue and Jeremy Berger are similar in their desire to make customer onboarding quick and simple, and 100% compliant, with anti-fraud and money-laundering protection.
Through passion, resiliency and an unparalleled work ethic, both entrepreneurs have turned their projects into some of the world’s hottest digital banking startups and validated themselves amongst the rising young stars in fintech. It might not be long before their products become integral part of our daily lives.
To know more about Arival Bank, meet Jeremy Berger in person at TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin (Nov 29-30, 2018) or find him on LinkedIn.