6. Cleo

Company: Cleo

Founder: Barney Hussey-Yeo

Website: https://web.meetcleo.com/




About Cleo


Since 2017, data scientist Barney Hussey-Yeo has been building the most innovative relationship you’ll ever have between you and your money. He’s been building Cleo — the world’s first AI financial assistant that turns the complexity of money into a simple conversation.

He believed, early on, that the future of all human-computer interaction would be delivered via a conversational interface. So, it was a matter of applying this thesis to one of the biggest, yet most broken industries he’s ever known — the $26 trillion dollar market that is financial services. It was obvious that banks weren’t solving problems for people, they were creating them, and it would take a completely different approach to change that. Fast forward to 2024, Cleo has helped over seven million people create healthy money habits and engage more with their financial future. The company is valued at half a billion dollars ($137M in venture capital) and seeing 2.4x year-on-year growth.

When people say something was ahead of the curve, that’s Cleo — and because of this, we’ve been faced with the challenge of building the future of finance too soon. We’re going up against long-formed banking habits and ultimately, consumer scepticism surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), or more specifically, the value of AI assistants.

While a lot has gone into overcoming this, the simple answer is: we’re everything a bank is not. With Cleo, it’s not just a conversation, it’s a relationship, and that’s why 70% of users have said the product has improved their financial life. Our retention and engagement is industry-leading with 65% of users still actively using Cleo six months after signing up, and some users engaging with Cleo 20x more than they open their own bank’s mobile app.

Behind Cleo’s chat experience is the latest Large Language Models (LLMs), proprietary machine learning, and over seven years of financial and conversational data. To date, Cleo still remains the only conversational assistant in the fintech space, setting a new benchmark for the application of generative AI in personal finance — and demonstrating the very real power AI can have on the quiet financial crisis. In 2023 alone, Cleo helped users avoid declined transactions or overdrafting nearly two millions times. That’s life-changing help for a lot of people.

Paving the way for the next stage of AI in financial services, Cleo is exploring ways to deliver even more dynamic, user-driven conversations and personalised insights, pushing the boundaries of cutting-edge technology.



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