My big idea: Rollee
Hi Ali! What's your elevator pitch?
As the gig economy grows and more people accumulate multiple income streams, financial institutions are struggling to verify a worker's source of income because they still use traditional and manual operations to do so. As a result, these individuals are often being excluded or denied from access to financial services. Rollee makes employment data from various sources accessible for financial providers so they can offer inclusive services to all their customers. This is done through Rollee’s data platform which provides consent-based access to workers’ activity, income, profile and work history, helping financial institutions to make better, more accurate decisions.
Why does the market need it?
Financial institutions are currently missing out on doing business with a growing market of gig workers who contribute £20bn to the UK economy every year. This is because their processes of verifying a worker's income and employment records are not designed to handle the complexity that comes with having multiple income streams. In fact, The Hidden Cost of Gig Worker Living report funded by Rollee, found that 7 in 10 UK gig workers have been denied access to basic financial products such as a loan, despite having a good credit score. As the number of gig workers continues to rise, it is critical that financial institutions find a solution to do business with this growing market without impacting their acceptance rate negatively. A streamlined approach to analysing data is needed to gain full visibility of multiple income streams to verify an individual for a financial service fairly. This approach also helps to reduce the risk of fraud and the chance of finding biassed data through forged documents when working with data records that are stored across multiple platforms and documents. With Rollee’s data platform, financial institutions have a gateway to gain reliable and fast access to data in a secure way.
Where is the business today?
Rollee was founded in 2021 and raised a 4M€ seed-round in March 2022, giving us a comfortable position to work on the business through the recent recession. We have on-boarded our first customers in the UK and France. We have also grown from being a team of 10 at the beginning of 2022 to a team of over 20 talented individuals who together have improved the product and expanded our footprint to meet the growing needs of our customers.
What made you think there was money in this?
When I was a data scientist, I was in charge of building a credit scoring model specifically designed to enable the onboarding of the self-employed, without impacting the acceptance rate. I struggled a lot to gain a full picture of their income situation when looking at traditional financial data alone. I figured there was a gap in the market to address the daily pain point of trying to assess and verify fragmented data that is stored across hundreds of different platforms. That’s why I founded Rollee. Through our API, we help banks, fintech, insurance, and many other businesses easily access their users’ income data and make better and more inclusive decisions based on it. Rollee is the first to offer this kind of solution in the European market to address an issue that will be prevalent today and in the future.
What's your biggest strength?
We offer an API platform which provides our customers with fine standardised data points to gain full visibility of a workers’ employment and income data to run their services. We decided not to just be a traditional data provider but to go the extra mile and remove all friction points from data collection through to the decision making process which makes us unique. We do this by integrating the data directly from the sources of income such as gig worker platforms, like Uber and Etsy, and by providing valuable insights alongside this to understand the data. Our platform has a leading footprint in Europe making our customers' growth and expansion easier with better access to data.
What is the secret to making the business work?
Our team is the main secret sauce to our future success. We are working hard on building a first-of-its-kind platform that will change the lives of many self-employed people on their way to access fair financial products. To create a successful team, we invest in the following 3 values;
Transparency. Transparency means sharing all issues encountered, things to improve, and valuable information to your teammates. Our fully remote mode works thanks to the openness and professionalism of people who join us.
Wellness. Being committed to succeeding never meant working 12 hours per day and endangering your wellbeing. We have ambitious objectives but, above all, a long-term vision.
Innovation. We consistently execute our plan but are always keen to innovate. Each project has a debrief session where employees can propose new improvements.
How do you market the company?
We invested early on in our Marketing to help Rollee gain awareness in Europe and beyond. In Seed startups, a Marketing position is not usually a priority, but we believe that building our reputation and our image from the start will help us down the line.
What funding do you have? Is it enough?
We have been efficient on capital funding since day one and we consider capital deployment to be a responsible way to enable our long-term vision. In March 2022, we raised a 4M€ Seed Round which will enable us to continue delivering on our long-term vision for now. Funding rounds are great opportunities to connect to investors who are aligned with our vision and focus which is dedicated to providing value to our customers.
Tell us about the business model
Like many API-businesses we decided to charge based on consumption. Our approach is simple: we know that verifying someone's income costs a lot of time - we want to reduce that timing to a few seconds to enable our customers to gain back time to invest in their daily business and other priorities.
What is the future vision?
Our vision for the future is simple. We want to make sure that each worker’s income data is an opportunity or a ladder to improve their life in some way, no matter what goal they may have. Everyone deserves to have fair access to the financial services they need or want, and using your own data to paint a true assessment should be accessible for all workers.