Prograd is an online platform that helps you build a side-hustle and save towards your life goals, whilst helping you build financial literacy.
Based on your goal, deadline, skillset, interests and financial situation, Prograd will scan thousands of opportunities to earn online, find a job or save money and then curate a personalised path to reach your goal, for free. Prograd was founded in 2021 by Ethan Fraenkel and myself.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
The idea for Prograd came together in 2019 when Ethan and I were still two undergraduates. We had worked for months on our personal statements and just had been accepted into our dream postgraduate degrees – but realised how little time we had to gather the money that we needed to pay upfront.
Unfortunately, the price of the university was too high for our families to cover and the student loan company only covered part of our fees.
The university did not offer any flexibility or scholarships for our courses. In the end, we ended up working over time for months, worked multiple jobs, saving methodically and took on a very expensive loan to help us finance the remaining chunk of our university fees. That is when we realised how hard it is for young people, and everyone, to get personalised, actionable, inexpensive financial support when planning different aspects of their life, from financing education to getting married or buying a home.
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How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
Prograd really kicked off in our dorm rooms between 2019 and 2020, especially during the pandemic. We kept working on it throughout the nights and weekends during university and kept it as a side hustle, after finding our first jobs. Everything changed when our founding engineer Rushen joined alongside an advisory board, as the first real addition to our team.
Since then, in June 2021, Prograd got accepted into the Techstars accelerator, one of the most prestigious programmes alongside YCombinator, and that is when Ethan and I decided to quit our jobs. Since then prograd has raised over $3.5m, grown our team to 15 super talented people and most importantly, we support over 60k people a month through our platform.
What can we hope to see from Prograd in the future?
We are really excited about the prospects of Prograd becoming even more personalised for our users. We are adding hundreds of our products in our platform each month to ensure that our users will never run out of options and solutions to their problems. Our goal is to continue to build Prograd so flexibly that everyone coming to our platform will be able to benefit from a different experience and always find a helpful solution, which is tailored to their individual circumstances.
Think Google, but for money. We are also launching a formal financial literacy program across different universities in the UK and our scaling our research teams to shed more light around the impact of the cost of living crisis amongst the most vulnerable. We just want to continue to build a future where nobody will need to struggle or go into bad debt to achieve their dreams.