Season 3 alumni company Woli raised €700K
Woli has raised €700K in a round led by Eleven Ventures to expand across Europe and help more children become responsible spenders.
The round is joined by regional fintech-star founders, including Hristo Borisov, CEO of Payhawk, Victor Trokoudes, CEO of Plum, and Thanassis Sofianos, CEO of Relevance Digital Agency. With the new investment, the smart money app for modern families will aim to be positioned as one of the leading kid and teen neobank brands in Europe, introduce new product features, double its team, and enter new European markets by the end of 2022.
This is yet another valuable collaboration between the Visa Innovation Program and a participating startup. Woli joins the family of Eleven Ventures’ investments in fintechs from the program, together with Payhawk (unicorn), Frisbo, Logsentinel, A4E, Boleron, and Reloyalty.
Woli’s Journey in the Visa Innovation Program
Woli was enrolled in the 3rd cohort of the Visa Innovation Program, collaborating extensively with the team of Crowdpolicy (running the program in Greece), the mentors, and Visa’s executives.
The startup has gained significant support provided by the Visa Innovation Program and access in the fintech ecosystem through a sectorial 5-month cohort for the implementation of their business idea. It included mentoring and coaching from top fintech experts, discovery sessions, support for APIs and software development, networking with the startup and fintech community, and guidance on funding.
“Visa Innovation Program has been a major door-opener for Woli. We gained direct and quick access, not only to the Visa team, but also to major financial institutions in the region. The Visa Innovation Program has been the spark for many interesting discussions and potential partnerships. Having these doors opened when you start is a true game changer,” Vasilis Zoupas, co-founder & CEO of Woli, shared.
Vasilis was exploring deeper the fintech space as a Product Manager at Viva Wallet, when he identified a gap – the youth does not have a clear solution for payments and money management while growing up. Kids of his friends were constantly “borrowing” daddy’s card to buy online games or special characters in Fortnite and he was listening to the parents’ endless complaints. This is how in 2021, together with his childhood friend, Filippos Antonopoulos, they founded Woli.
Woli is a family banking app and prepaid card for kids and teens, offering digital banking capabilities, while helping children and teenagers grow good money skills. At the same time it helps parents organize family allowances, including custom spending controls, automated pocket money or instant transfers.
Woli is licensed as an e-money distributor by the Bank of Lithuania and in the first 3 months since its official launch, it grew over 1,000 accounts. Being the first digital wallet and prepaid debit card focused solely on the needs of children from 10 to 18 years-old, Woli currently serves over 500 families across Greece.
Combining a mobile app, a prepaid card, smart parental controls and age-appropriate finance classes, Woli empowers children to earn, save and spend money responsibly within a safe environment.
- For Parents, Woli is a smart tool to organize family money, including custom spending controls and automated pocket money or instant transfers. They can automate pocket money, set spending controls, create tasks and goals to help children earn and save.
- For Children, it is their first money account along with their first personal card, together with spending statistics and money lessons to help them navigate the world of finance, allowing them to gain control of their financial life with absolute security.
Where to next
There is a clear need for children’s habits and traditions regarding money to change. In Europe, especially, pocket money is still given to children in cash, which leaves them with no proper tool to manage their finances and set goals. At the same time, parents find it difficult to educate their children about money management principles.
The Woli iOS and Android app is currently offered only in the Greek market, but the startup aims to expand to big European markets such as Italy and Spain.
Besides being focused on team and market expansion, Woli is also working on the development of new features, such as a financial literacy platform, smart saving goals, money gift cards from relatives, and a marketplace for rewards and partners’ products.