What problem are you trying to solve?
Akoni solves a significant problem that faces SMEs and small corporates in the UK. Traditionally fintech has focused mainly on the consumer and credit space, with very few business and commercial solutions. The practical benefits of our offering are both powerful and tangible for these companies – giving the business more time to focus on key priorities of building its business. Many SMEs have been missing out on appropriate cash management tools and services which are widely available to larger companies with bigger budgets and revenue streams. Akoni addresses this inequality by providing a bespoke digital cash management tool, specifically for smaller businesses and investors.
How do you make money?
Akoni distributes products to businesses and bank/ financial services partners and earns income through software/SAAS fees and cash under management/introductory fees.
How has London & Partners and the Business Growth programme helped you?
We have benefited from the mentorship expertise and extensive network that the programme offered. The programme offered a dedicated Business Growth Manager who provided tailored advice and guidance including a review of expansion plans to match our company’s needs. This support helped save us valuable management time and resources.
Who’s on your team that makes you think you can do this?
Our Business Growth Manager, Amrit Kang, was brilliant at helping guide us through the programme and now we have a dedicated Business Growth team specialising in Financial & Business Services looking after us so we are benefiting from continued support and advice.
Who’s bankrolling you?
We have a range of strategic high net worth investors including previous Chairman of Newedge/ Head of Bank of America Global markets and President of Goldman Sachs Europe / Chairman of rolls Royce amongst others. Our strategic investors add immense value in their experience to our growth.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to secure that kind of finance?
Be persistent, be relentless, never give up.
What do you believe the key to growing this business is?
Driving change in the banking technology sector is key for growth. We are currently creating more banking partnerships to add to our platform and offer our product on a white-label basis, aiming for 15-20 banks being part of our hub panel. Growth with White Label partners – by further improving on our panel banks via an initial pilot and PoC, panel bank multi-currency offering. A fully comprehensive financial product offering – we are planning on developing our product through the inclusion of money market forecast, foreign currency, and trade finance by next year. Bringing in clients with bigger deals and cash reserves. Receiving more positive feedback to ensure our platform is satisfying clients. More information for SME clients – working towards this by looking to offer more bespoke cash flow forecasting which includes statistical progression and trends, and sector-specific specialisation.
What metrics do you look at every day?
- Cash and lending on our platform
- Our own cash
Also, we assess where the customers pain points are.
What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
We have learnt to surround ourselves with others driving hard, because if your business does not adapt, it will die.
Find out how the Business Growth Programme has supported other SMEs during their growth journey across London and can help your business.
This exclusive programme is open to companies based in London operating in key broad sectors: Financial, Business Services & Technology, Life Sciences & Innovation, Creative, and Urban.
To find out more, please visit businessgrowth.london