In our latest CEO interview, we hear from Crawford Taylor, the founder of digital savings account Nude, which helps young people save to get on the property ladder. Nude has recently closed another round of investment raising over £3.5m from more than 800 investors on the equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
Why did you set up Nude?
We set up Nude to make it easier and fairer for people to achieve their goals in life, particularly young people. There’s a huge wealth imbalance between the older and younger generations. The financial system is complicated and it isn’t always fair or transparent. Nude’s changing this, starting with home ownership.
How has it been crowdfunding?
Raising funding is challenging and requires a lot of work and many many conversations. Thankfully, we’ve found investors who share our vision and values and following the outbreak of Coronavirus the UK government has been very supportive with the introduction of the Future Fund. I invested some of my own savings plus private investors last year totalling £1.7m. This year we’ve raised over £3.5m from private investors, the Future Fund and Seedrs crowdfund platform. We obviously delighted with the level of support.
Why it’s so important that people save for a house/property investments versus stock market investments etc.
We’re not taking the view that one is better than the other. We came at home ownership from the point of view that 9 out of 10 young people would like to own a home, renting is more expensive than buying, there’s a greater level of wellbeing if you manage to own rather than rent and there’s little help available. Nude provides a solution to a problem.
What has been the best and worst parts of running the business so far?
Building fast, recruiting and working with great people who are inquisitive and ambitious and creating something that can help people, can change their lives for the better. That’s exciting. The worst part, which is also a good thing in a way, is that we need to get more right than wrong, there’s little room for error. We don’t have a large balance sheet and/or revenue stream to fall back on, so we need to get it right.
How does Nude make money?
Principally from the interest margin between what we lend money out at and what we pass on to customers. The good thing is that our interests are aligned with our customers. The more we help people save, the more money we make.
What is your ultimate goal for the business?
For Nude to become a global, trusted brand that’s helped hundreds of thousands of people achieve their goals in life.
What advice would you give to people to help then make more of their money?
Live within your means, who cares what other people do or think? Instead try and save what you can for meaningful things—you’ll be richer in the long-term.
I’m an actuary and have read a lot of books about finance, economics, money etc. I don’t recall anything that’s an easy read yet, but for me it’s the basics of save early and regularly and it will add up to a lot. I found this on the web which might help explain better.
Crawford Taylor is CEO of Nude, an app that helps people save to buy a house.