Alumni Spotlight: UPUP providing Money to Children

Alumni Spotlight: UPUP providing Money to Children

25-Nov-2019 by sarah-shokr

UPUP an app created by parents to help parents teach kids to understand their expenses control their finances, and save money. Parents can quickly transfer cash to their kids, and they can chat with their kids for discussion of purchases. We sat down with Roman Potemkin, founder, and CEO of UPUP, to know more about their app and their recent achievements.

Hello Roman, please tell us something about your professional background and how you came up with the idea of UPUP?

My name is Roman Potemkin, and I’m the Founder of the UPUP. I believe that good ideas appear when it solves the problem with which you struggle on your own.

Since I have children, I faced a problem with pocket money management to study my son a financial literacy. We started when he was younger, six years old, using a
sheet of paper to plan spendings. But the world is changing, and everything is digitalized, kids have everything in their smartphones. I realized that a sheet of paper doesn’t work anymore.

At the same time, I have a digital company that had been successfully provided mobile banking solutions to banks for 10+years. I noticed that banks send diamond offers to get new clients. And it was some kind of ‘AHA! ‘moment: I realize that it’s a  great match: on the one hand, the market is in need of solution to get children as clients, on the other – parents want to have a tool to control kids’ spending and to teach them how to save money.

As a result, UPUP, as a product idea, appeared to solve the known problems of different sides.

What pain point are you solving, and how? 

UPUP itself is the mobile application, which is integrated with bank API. The bank issues a card that is linked to the application. So parents’ and kids’ financial relationships are connected through the app. We provide functionality according to the main goals of parents to study their children:

● get skills of budgeting by the ability to set up a regular allowance for the child
● understanding that money isn’t free by receiving financial tasks from their parents
● understanding how to save for the future by setting the goals and sending the withdrawal to achieve them
● developing a habit of tracking the spendings by viewing & analyzing the reports for expenses divided by categories

Together with that, we solve such problems of banks as attracting new clients and keeping the whole family in the bank.

How did you validate your product?

There are different B2C solutions on the market which had already proved the concept, like GoHenry, in the United Kingdom, which has five mln EUR of annual revenue and 470000 users.

What are your challenges now at UPUP? 

Well, since we are a ready-to-go market solution and we are in the process of final negotiations regarding agreement signing with two banks in the Gulf region. Anyway, we are still in the process of expanding our sales pipeline and partners to collaborate with.

One of the challenges is to get in touch with educational institutions since it’s a huge source of our target audience, which can be helpful to get the users of the application in the fastest way. The second challenge is to set a partnership with prepaid card issuers. But it would be a next step in the UPUP development as an independent product.

What markets are you currently targeting and are you planning to expand your business in other markets? 

We are focused on the market expansion in Arab states of the Persian Gulf for the beginning since we have strong connections here due to participation in the Startupbootcamp, visiting the events and conferences here. Of course, we are going to expand in the other markets, but it will be the next step after we get real metrics based on the number of integrations with the banks of this region.

Tell us more about recent progress and achievements

To improve relationships developed due to Startupbootcamp and our presence in the region, we became participants of the FintecHive accelerator program in DIFC. We were the speakers in the Middle East banking forum in Abu Dhabi this year, where we successfully won 1st place. Also, we are remarkably expanding our connections in the region, taking part in conferences, events, and competitions. It is an excellent opportunity to develop strong name recognition for our product.

How it’s been your experience with Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai? 

Taking part in Startupbootcamp became a great push for the UPUP to go to the Middle East market: they integrated us into the local community, helped us to shape the product and to define the value proposition for the banks. Besides, we got access to local banking events that allowed us to create and expand the clients’ base from scratch.

Tell us more about your current team.

We have a strong founders team that is deeply involved in business development visiting the events and conferences. We all are so different and have different skills set due to the experience, and I believe that allows us to reach a lot of connections and be agile in visiting several events at the same time. Also, we have a developers team that is polishing the product and working on new features, client integrations.

Final words of wisdom to fellow founders. 

When people say they like your product it doesn’t mean anything until they buy it 😉

To know more about UPUP app visit their website here.

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