Earlier in the year we announced our latest funding round of $70m and over the following days, we had a flurry of enquiries from journalists. A lot of the questions centred around a core theme – what turned someone who had spent 30 years in technology and banking at some of the largest financial institutions in the world into an entrepreneur? Why had I spent every waking hour of the last 26 months working on the launch of a consumer bank? Why did I believe that building the world’s best current account was a worthy cause? What problem was I trying to solve and what would the world look like when we have solved it?
First, I need to say that it is not just me. There are more than twenty of us at Starling now and we will grow to more than seventy by the end of the year. So if you like what we are doing and would like to be part of it, please look at our careers page. We are a diverse group of very talented engineers, bankers, accountants and customer-centric marketeers. We are united by our values and beliefs that technology and innovation can improve your financial health and relief from financial anxiety is a human need that the banking industry has exploited for its own benefit for too long.
I often say that Starling will tell you whether you have enough money to the end of the week, month, year or to the end your life. As a child growing up in industrial South Wales during the 70’s, it was very evident that for many people financial hardship was just around the corner. Then and now, people deal with this in many different ways, from the “over-thinking mental accounting” types on one hand, to the “don’t open the envelope” types at the other extreme. I must admit that I have always worried about money and would have taken the “entrepreneurial” leap much earlier in my career if I could have been a bit more “carefree” about my own personal cash flow.
So back to the question, why Starling, why now, why us. We believe that technology has transformed our lives in so many different ways, whether it is about how you enjoy music or how you shop. However, many of us are still stressed by the everyday management of money. I have written a lot about the opportunities of technology, changes in regulation (PSD2) and how the incumbents banks can’t change.
So what’s next at Starling? Well we are now gearing up for the next stage of our development. We are interested in hearing from you if you have a passion for the psychology of money, artificial intelligence (AI) and data science. If you put these things together you probably guess where we are heading. We are on a mission to change our relationship with money. If you want to join us then take a look at our careers page.