The bolder, bigger, and borderless third season of the Visa Innovation Program is steadily moving ahead and all participants are vigorously working on their solutions even during the summer months! We also continue to meet the founders and present their startups in more detail.
Today, we introduce another two promising fintechs from Greece. The first one is Woli – a smart money app for modern families, which automates pocket money and helps children grow good financial skills in a fun and secure way. The second startup is Parkadoro – a cloud-based, leading parking management software, ideal for small and medium car parks.
Once 18 years old, children are instantaneously considered adults and are expected to fully manage their finances and money responsibilities. Yet, until that point, they are given very little training and tools to fully comprehend the benefits and pitfalls of money management and banking products. Children need to know how things work.
Woli is a Smart Money app and debit card for teens 10-18 years-old, co-managed by their parents. Woli automates pocket money and helps children grow good money skills in a fun and secure way.
Parents can automate allowance, set flexible parental controls, and even create tasks for their children. Teens gain financial independence, their first money account, and their own debit card to shop online and in-store.
The educational platform includes fun money quizzes and games, which are designed together with partners who have special skills in youth financial literacy.
Why is this important?
Woli is the first digital banking app in Southeast Europe designed around teens’ financial needs and with a vision to empower them through financial independence and knowledge. The combination of family payments and educational content is the sweet spot that differentiates Woli from any competition in the digital banking space.
Woli is powered by a growing team with unique collective expertise across fintech, payments, education and social gaming, that is driven by a passion for innovation and the belief that teen banking should be re-designed from scratch.
In order to learn even more intriguing insights, our team met with Woli’s founder for a quick “founder blitz”.
1. What inspired you to start Woli?
In the field of digital payments, companies have been ignoring the needs of young people for many years, as neobanks are making their presence felt across Europe. A fintech solution for families is something we have been thinking about since 2017 when part of the team started working in the industry. In the beginning of 2020, together with a group of good friends and associates, we decided to start this journey. The route was – and is – demanding and with many challenges, but this is what makes our work very interesting!
3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established Woli?
A startup journey is typically filled with challenges and crossroads where the right choices are not easy to take. At Woli, a major one has been to set the correct fintech framework in place to build an easy and fun experience in such a regulated and compliance-heavy industry. From a product perspective, an important challenge is to create a service that is loved by two very different user types – children (who are the power users of the app) and parents (who typically pay for the service).
2. What is your next big milestone?
We are currently testing our service in a private beta with parents and kids in Greece and we are a few weeks away from the official commercial launch. The Greek market which will be our first entry in Europe, with other Euro countries following suit.
In parallel, we are also building the content of Woli Classroom (our financial literacy platform) with the help of selected educational partners. Classroom will be embedded into the Woli App as a set of mini-courses and quizzes that teens can engage with to learn the basics of money management.
4. What does success look like for Woli?
All people with a driving license have come against the problem Parkadoro is solving – small and medium car parks are still using pen & paper or outdated parking software.
Parkadoro is an ERP software for the parking industry. It can work on multiple devices at the same time (Laptop, Tablet, Smartphone), even on a POS device.
Car park operators through Parkadoro can print invoices, receipts, track vehicles coming in/out of the car park and have access to powerful analytics to better utilize their business.
Why is this important?
Parkadoro is specifically designed for the parking industry since day 1 – something that no other ERP is doing. Usually, you have to buy expensive hardware to receive standard software that most of the time has numerous limitations. Parkadoro’s software is not coupled with hardware and hence not limited by any hardware capabilities. At the same time, it can be extended as much as possible by connecting external hardware and software. You can e.g connect a camera to automatically register vehicle plates and you can also connect a customer loyalty software to offer your customers great schemes (park 10 times, get 1 free).
Meet Parkadoro’s founder and learn more about his vision and the next milestones for the company in our “founder blitz”.
1. What inspired you to start Parkadoro?
After building the biggest online booking platform for parking in Greece with 250 000+ users and 200+ car parks participating, we noticed a gap between how technology evolves around us and how it evolves in the parking industry. Most of the car parks were working inefficiently. We had deep knowledge of how a car park operates and we decided to combine our market insights together with our technology know-how.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established Parkadoro?
Educating the market. The gap between a fully featured ERP and pen & paper is huge. We had to train many clients and keep outlining the benefits in every conversation while at the same time explaining “how computers work”, in order to get them on board. After a few sessions they couldn’t imagine how life was before Parkadoro but getting them there required a lot of effort.
2. What is your next big milestone?
Enabling seamless charging for EVs inside car parks. Combine parking and EV charging to create attractive bundles for both drivers and car park operators.
4. What does success look like for Parkadoro?
Getting “thank you”s from car park owners that previously were spending too much time trying to track how their business performs and now they are able to make educated decisions on how to grow them.