Startup Interview: Sprive

TechRound recently caught up with Sprive to find out more about who they are, what they do and their plans for the future…

Sprive is an app that uses smart technology to help homeowners in the UK pay off their mortgage faster and save thousands of pounds in interest. You’ll be amazed at how much interest you can save and how many years you can knock off just by putting a few pounds a day towards your mortgage.

Tell Us About Sprive?

The app helps its users set a “mortgage freedom” goal and then allows them to chip away at their mortgage by helping them make smart payments to their lender each month. We’ll crunch the numbers, set users an affordable monthly payment target and keep them on track by sending them reminders, recalculating their targets, while they will be able to monitor their savings and progress. The app is completely free. It is currently available by invitation only on both iPhone and Android and works in conjunction with 12 of the major lenders.

Sprive is FCA regulated and we’re led by three founders with over 35 years financial services experience (ex. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley). At Sprive, we want to help homeowners manage their mortgage every step of the way. Whether it’s helping them pay off their mortgage faster, making sure they’re always on the best deal or helping them save as much interest as possible throughout the lifetime of their mortgage.

How Did You Come Up With The Idea For The Company

Sprive was born from my own personal frustrations that came about from having a mortgage and going through the journey of paying it off. I was acutely aware that not managing my mortgage effectively could cost me thousands of pounds a year. I often found that I had to work things out on my own. I really could have done with someone independent out there with the expertise to help me manage my largest liability at every step of the way. I genuinely believe that the existing mortgages market is not setup to help homeowners save money and with my financial services background, I believe I was well placed to help change things for the better.

Furthermore, I just wasn’t aware that I would save a lot more interest if I chipped away regularly with small overpayment goals – whether that on a monthly basis or in larger lump sums every quarter. Tracking the mortgage against overpayments was also time consuming and difficult, with lenders often reluctant to disclose the information at the touch of a button – something I wanted to be able to see in real time for greater momentum and future payments.

Finally, the subject of mortgage advisors was always a contentious issue. In the early days, understanding that there would be an additional fee was frustrating, particularly knowing that many also earn commissions from lenders. And, with different advice coming from different advisors, I often found myself going round in circles, not knowing whether I was gaining a good deal or not – and this is something many friends and colleagues also experienced.

What Advice Would You Give To Other Aspiring Entrepreneurs?

First step is to brainstorm and come up with a business idea. Some of the best ideas come from issues you are facing in your own life. Next step is to properly validate your idea. I often see entrepreneurs who are far too quick to start a business without really digging into the details. Are you solving a genuine problem?  What is the competition? How big is the market? How will you make money? I would always recommend creating a business plan, talking to your intended customers and experts within your industry to get feedback.

If things are looking positive then I would focus on finding the right founding team. For the business to be successful, on paper, what skillset do you need?

Starting a business on your own in super tough and I found having two other founders to bounce ideas off and being able to leverage their strengths very helpful.  It’s also a good way of validating your idea.  If you can’t convince others to help you launch your business, then what’s the likelihood of you being able to convince investors as an example down the line. If things are still looking positive, then I would focus on building your prototype as cheaply as possible.

This could be something as simple as creating a one page website that has a waitlist for early access and a video which explains the business you’re intending on building. If you can organically convince people to sign up, then you’re in a good position to raise initial investment, start building your business and over time maybe even leave your full-time job.

What Can We Hope To See From Sprive In The Future?

At Sprive, we’re keen to build alongside our early users and so listening to their feedback has been key in shaping our development roadmap. Our current focus is helping homeowners chip away at their mortgage, hassle free.  However, following on from that we want to help homeowners improve their financial position to increase their chances of unlocking cheaper deals when they re-mortgage.

This includes things like improving their credit score, reducing their loan to value (LTV) and providing guidance to how they may want to adjust their spending behaviour.  We will also be looking to connect our users to our FCA approved advisors to make sure they are always on the best mortgage deal. Finally, we’d love to help our users earn rewards and cashback with retailers for achieving set goals within the app and for referring their friends. With over 3 million people in the UK expected to have a mortgage past retirement and also half of homeowners actively paying off their mortgage faster without any guidance, we think there are a lot of people out there that we can help.

To read Jinesh’s story, please visit:  Sprive’s CEO shares his mortgage journey