For our first Startup for 10 of 2020 we bring you Seccl – the fintech on a mission to rebuild the infrastructure of investments and advice. Since 2016, the startup has expanded to a team of 25 dedicated employees.
To find out more about what Seccl has been up to in the past three years, we set out 10 questions to co-founder, David Harvey.
1. In your own words – what do you do?
Our software helps pioneering financial advisers and investment managers to build more efficient and customer-centric businesses, by operating their own investment platform. And it allows ambitious fintechs to quickly and cheaply get to market with innovative investment or advice products.
2. What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing?
The opportunity to fundamentally change the wealth management sector from the ground is hugely exciting. The existing infrastructure of investments and advice is outdated, inflexible and expensive.
We hope to rebuild it from scratch and move the technology story forward in financial services (arguably the sector where change is needed more than any other…). And, besides, the potential human impact is huge. The simple fact is that not enough people are getting the help and support they need to make better financial decisions. We hope that our technology will go some way to making the worlds of investing and financial advice more affordable and accessible.
3. What are you most proud of so far?
When we started out, we said that we wanted to rebuild the infrastructure of investments – starting with fewer than six developers. It was a pretty ambitious thing to set out to do, and many people said that it was impossible. Fast forward a few years and we’ve done just that, with a live product that customers are using and recommending. Add to this the fact that we’ve spent probably 10 times less than most people said we’d need to, and it’s all the sweeter.
4. What have you found most difficult about being a startup?
Fundraising, without a doubt. While investment platform technology is vitally important, we’d be the first to admit that it’s a pretty arcane and complex subject matter – which ruled out some of the more contemporary routes like crowdfunding.
Our acquisition by Octopus earlier in the year was, then, a hugely important milestone for us. It’s great to be part of a family of companies that shares our vision and values, and which gives us the firepower to capitalise on all the fantastic work that the team has done to date.
5. What would you do differently if you started now?
Oh, lots of things. While the big decisions we took around our software architecture and business processes have turned out to be right, there are plenty of things that perhaps we could or should have done differently. I think on reflection we maybe could have been a bit bolder with some of our decision-making…but then hindsight’s a wonderful thing.
6. Where do you think you’ll be in 12 months?
If all goes to plan, there’ll be many more wealth managers and fintechs using our software, we’ll be up and running with a new academy to train high quality digital talent, and we’ll probably have a new office to house us all!
7. What tools/people/services/organisations from the cluster have helped you most?
We’re a proud hiring partner of Mayden Academy and owe them a huge debt for the many fantastic developers that they’ve trained. And we’re also really grateful to Bath’s coworking hub, The Guild, for providing us office space in the very early days.
8. What’s the best thing about the Bristol & Bath tech cluster?
It’s fantastic to be able to tap into a great network of passionate and talented software developers from all walks of life, and ambitious grads from the four world-class universities on our doorstep.
9. Who will you be nominating for a SPARKie next year?
Good question. There’s so much tech talent in the area so it’s always hard to choose just one…but Mayden Academy and Rocketmakers definitely stand out for the work they do in supporting other startups.
10. Where can we find out more about you?
Head to Seccl to find out more. And if you’re interested in working with us, we’d love to hear from you. We’re always on the look-out for ambitious, likeminded people to join our team and have a number of roles currently live, so check out Seccl jobs, or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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