Startup Interview: Fluidly


Company Name: Fluidly 
Founder: Caroline Plumb OBE
What is Fluidly? Fluidly is an intelligent cashflow engine for SMEs which helps businesses predict, optimise and protect their finances by using the data in accounting packages to improve their finances. 

About Caroline Plumb OBE

Caroline Plumb OBE boasts an astounding career path, which began when she was just 21, a graduate of the University of Oxford having read Engineering, Economics and Management and obtained a first-class degree. Upon graduating, Caroline turned down a stable and promisingly lucrative job offer at McKinsey to create FreshMinds with friend and university peer, Charlie Osmond. FreshMinds began as a research consultancy and quickly went on to offer recruitment services (FreshMinds Talent); allowing businesses access to the greatest ‘Minds’ and future employees.
Caroline was appointed by the Prime Minister in 2010 as a UK Business Ambassador with a focus on the Professional & Business Services sector and was awarded an OBE awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List 2016; she is quite clearly a force to be reckoned with.
Caroline grew FreshMinds for fifteen years and, after taking a step back in order to cultivate her second startup – Fluidly – she is now Chairman and Non-Executive Director of FreshMinds and FreshMinds Talent. As CEO and founder of Fluidly, Caroline speaks of her company with an enigmatic passion for her own career and for the future of businesses in light of Fluidly’s FinTech innovations. 

Here’s what happened when we caught up with Caroline:

Can you summarise for our readers the idea behind Fludily?
Fluidly is an intelligent cashflow engine based on the idea of building an autopilot for business finances which helps predict, optimize and protect their data.
What encouraged you to move on from FreshMinds to then begin Fluidly?
I think it was a good time for me personally and professionally – I was there for 15 years and I had three children during that period. I am still very much involved with FreshMinds, being the Chairman and Non-Executive Director, but my focus is with Fluidly. From starting FreshMinds, I noticed how difficult and stressful it can be for businesses to manage their cashflow. Now that my youngest child is one, it seemed like a good plan to develop a business that solves that problem. 
As a very young graduate at the time, how did you find the courage to start FreshMinds?
I had a job offer upon graduation, but it was the “dot com” era, where startups and new businesses were proving to be exciting and lucrative job paths.
Whilst at Oxford University, did you partake in any extracurricular activities that motivated the entrepreneur inside of you?
At Oxford I read Engineering, Economics and Management, which has a six-month industry placement included. In my final year, some people on my course and I would hang out and discuss business ideas together – we came up with a networking plan and created university-wide events that later toured the country.
Do you have any advice that you would give specifically to aspiring women entrepreneurs in particular?
My general advice for anyone is to get out there and talk to customers and prospective customers. Ideas in themselves are relatively rarely unique; what you need to focus on is execution. Building a business is not a theoretical exercise; it has to involve real people, real problems and real solutions.
Other than being awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List in 2016, what has the proudest moment of your career been so far?
There isn’t one ‘big moment’. It’s the little, everyday moments. Yesterday in the office, for instance, the team had come back from showing the beta-version of our next cashflow products to some clients and they were so excited about how positive it went. There was a real buzz in the office – our team is brilliant.
Do you have any personal career goals you are yet to meet?
It’s more about making using the business to make a real impact; part our mission is to help professionals sleep better at night. We’re about providing control and certainty and confidence for businesses. 
What are your plans for the growth of Fluidly?
Fluidly is growing rapidly at the moment; we hope to continue that growth. Management of cashflow is such a pain point for businesses – we are really building this intelligent system for finances that will make a huge difference in the successes of companies today.