SaveAway Launches “24 in 24” to Help Consumers to SaveAway Now, Buy Soon

SaveAway Launches “24 in 24” to Help Consumers to SaveAway Now, Buy Soon

SaveAway is celebrating the season with its “$24 to Ring in ’24 program. The new offering, timed for the New Year, will put $12 in the SaveAway wallet of new sign ups and another $12 for any referral who signs up and completes a SaveAway plan. That’s $24 for new users who bring along a referral now through January 2024.

In an email, CEO and founder Om Kundu explained the thinking behind the “$24 to Ring in ’24” plan. “The $24 to ring in 2024 initiative is a recognition for those joining the remarkable company of our pioneering users and partners who have seen the merits of SaveAway first-hand,” Kundu said.

“SaveAway is social by design, as well as its proprietary engineering – $24 to Ring in ’24 is the celebratory spirit to recognize, and make the opportunity for our users to refer other SaveAway users that much more rewarding.”

The company’s “SaveAway Now, Buy Soon” approach offers a departure from the world of Buy Now, Pay Later. The social saving and retail e-commerce platform enables consumers to buy important purchases responsibly, without having to rely on credit.

In this way, the solution combines intelligent financial planning with a sustainable path-to-purchase. The platform’s social gifting functionality enables members of the user’s trusted social network of friends and family to both support sensible spending as well as help users make purchases that they cannot afford on their own.

Users have praised the ease with which they can invite friends and family to participate in the spending process – voting on options and gifting toward the eventual purchase. The SaveAway platform also lets users see the progress they are making toward their purchase goal based on their personalized savings plan.

SaveAway made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2016. Earlier this year, Kundu facilitated the Fintech and E-Commerce Meetup at the SXSW conference, and the Retail Transformation+Evolution at the NRF Big Show Table Talk. Also this year, NYCEDC tapped SaveAway as a recipient of its Founder Fellowship. The fellowship offers resources for technology entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

SaveAway will begin 2024 as a presenter at VentureCrushFGX having been selected to the 14th cohort of the VentureCrushFG Pod. Run by the Tech Group at legal firm Lowenstein Sandler, VentureCrush offers programs and events for startup founders and investors. The Wall Street Journal ranked Lowenstein Sandler as one of the top five most active law firms in the U.S. in terms of the number of VC/PE deals completed.

Check out our extended Q&A with Om Kundu on making sense of spending, saving, and financial wellness.

Photo by Pixabay

Unifying Financial Planning with Path-to-Purchase, Inspirave Introduces SaveAway

Unifying Financial Planning with Path-to-Purchase, Inspirave Introduces SaveAway

“Buy Now Pay Later” may be the e-commerce rage du jour. But if you check in with the team from Inspirave, then you’ll hear about a better way for consumers to spend and save. The New York based company – which we profiled last fall – unveiled its SaveAway platform this week, enabling consumers to benefit from its unique blend of “financial planning with the path-to-purchase.”

“There has never been a better time to see Inspirave’s economically sustainable blueprint, propelled by greater purchasing power, striking such an inimitably strong chord with our growing community of SaveAway users and partners who recognize that what inspires our new-to-market innovations enabling greater financial wellness and social mobility is our steadfast mission to further human potential and prosperity for all,” Inspirave founder and CEO Om Kundu said in a statement.

SaveAway’s unification of micro-saving and social commerce offers consumers a way to save for the things they really value and avoid purchasing these same items with credit and accumulating unnecessary debt in the process. Aided by the insights, advice – and even material support – of friends and family, consumers using the SaveAway platform can leverage the collective wisdom of those who know them best and care about them the most to help them make financial decisions that are as responsible as they are affordable.

Miguel Sanchez and Philip Shearer, co-founders of diversity-focused accelerator MetaBronx, praised both the Inspirave’s innovation and its approach to spending and saving. “What made the SaveAway platform stand out in the top six companies chosen in 2020 derived from the breakthroughs in Inspirave’s patented technology as much as its novel operating model, pointing to the massive impact SaveAway is moving forward to uniquely deliver,” they said.

The company noted in its statement that those who signed up for Early Access to the SaveAway platform are eligible for a variety of bonuses, including referral credits and entry into a sweepstakes for a $1,000 contribution toward the winner’s SaveAway purchase-goal to be paid by the company. More than 12,000 people have signed up for Early Access to date.

Named a a Top Fintech Forward Company to Watch by American Banker and BAI, and A Finovate alum since 2016, Inspirave is headquartered in New York City.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Saving for What Matters: A Q&A with INSPIRAVE Founder and CEO Om Kundu

Saving for What Matters: A Q&A with INSPIRAVE Founder and CEO Om Kundu

From a renewed focus on holistic financial wellness to the way technologies like predictive analytics can improve financial decision-making, the personal finance management (PFM) space has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years.

We caught up with Om Kundu, founder and CEO of social savings network INSPIRAVE, to find out what his company has been doing to help the average person leverage relationships with friends and family to save smarter. Headquartered in New York City, INSPIRAVE demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2016.

Finovate: Among the big news from INSPIRAVE this fall was the fact that you were recently issued a patent. What was the patent for and what does it mean for the company going forward?

Kundu: By combining intelligently planned direct deposits with social gifting and the best savings offers, we have combined the power of three separate solutions of social discovery, savings, and fulfillment into one. This enables INSPIRAVE to be a relentless advocate, and maintain our users’ best interest in mind at every step. INSPIRAVE empowers users to travel from Point-A to Point-B not only by increasing the value of their existing principal, but also by reducing the price-point of their chosen goal whenever possible as part of a thoughtfully orchestrated plan that does not stop until the goal is fulfilled without the risk of credit turning into debt.

Our most recently issued patent is part of a series of filed patents that we expect to be issued internationally. What you see today is V 1.0 of the roadmap (image below) we are furthering for an end-to-end, iTunes-like ecosystem to fundamentally realign retail financial services, commerce and goal-fulfillment. In its simplest form, the systems and methods of the inventions are inspiring users on a journey to fulfill the goals that matter the most to them by setting funds aside over time to make a purchase you may not have afforded otherwise.

The fact that our INSPIRAVE patent has been cited by some of the world’s leading institutions spanning across the Americas (Bank of America) and China (FUZAMEI Tech) should speak for itself on our proprietary technology’s far-reaching scope and scale. The issuance of the patent is a testament to INSPIRAVE having pioneered social savings as much as social commerce.

Looking ahead as part of our roadmap, INSPIRAVE users and partners will benefit from technologies enabling smart contracts for co-ownership/co-access of the merchandise being saved up for. They will also power our SaveAway Pay-It-Forward Scores™, through which we have further aligned incentives for people saving towards their goals and their friends-and-family who have the option — but not the obligation — to contribute. 

Finovate: A lot of fintech companies are getting involved in financial wellness, moving beyond PFM. For those who are new to INSPIRAVE, how does your solution differ from other savings-oriented platforms on the market?

Kundu: Far too many solutions in the market today induce more (impulse) spending to qualify for what is often the mirage of saving (i.e., credit card cash-back rewards, or rounding-up a fraction of what you spend into saving). Instead of resuscitating the dying saving muscle, they end up putting the spending muscle on further steroids. Included in these is seemingly “convenient” point-of-sale financing, including those you pay in installments festered with egregious interest rates with credit, that far too often translates into debt.

Yet other card-linked solutions throw advertised offers at you based on your past transactions, which often end up encouraging frivolous purchases and overspending. At a time when the debt crisis is upon us (over $1 trillion in credit card debt alone), we absolutely can and must do better than what retail financial services and commerce often is today: impulsive, punitive, and asocial.

INSPIRAVE stands for that more perfect union – one that aligns fulfillment of goals by users to that of our retail partners who equally benefit from customers, sales, and positive impact they would not have had otherwise. Our singular focus is on helping you “save more, faster,” to fulfill the purchase-goals that matter most, and help you avoid the distractions of the frivolous purchases that don’t.

The result? Even while INSPIRAVE is devoid of advertising, our powerful model is free for end-users (unlike many existing solutions which charge fees for their savings service.)!

Our INSPIRAVE user research indicates in no uncertain terms that “saving for saving’s sake” or saving limited to monetary goals — which is what many solutions today in the market provide — is not intrinsically fulfilling for people. Beyond numerical goals, our goal should be to fulfill experiential goals — i.e., having the purchase-goals that matter the most to us and the people around us delivered at your door.

Finovate: As a social savings network, users of the platform are also critical to the network effect of community-building. Are you seeing these effects in the beta testing of the platform that you are currently doing?

Kundu: INSPIRAVE’s social foundation is borne out in no uncertain terms with over 90% of our users referring other users to the platform. The INSPIRAVE platform’s latest release adds social and direct messaging capabilities making it extraordinarily easy for users to selectively engage their “friends that count” (in contrast to the more public “friend count” or crowd) on purchase decisions.

By cultivating a community of “friends that count,” users not only benefit from social nudges that help them make better purchase-decisions, but also equally increase the likelihood of benefiting from social gifting in the form of monetary contributions from those very same friends. Beyond taking advantage of access to our private beta, our SaveAway program empowers users to recommend their own favorite brands and retailers to join our network. This is making SaveAway a truly democratized marketplace that is equally accessible by well-regarded brands big and small.

Rather than the zero-sum game of getting consumers to “buy more stuff,” INSPIRAVE empowers users to “save more, faster” in ways that enable them to focus on the big purchases that matter most which they wouldn’t have afforded otherwise. In so doing, our SaveAway platform equally unlocks a wholly new channel of underserved customers and sales that expands the total addressable market for retail and financial institutions.

Finovate: How important are partnerships to building the INSPIRAVE community and brand? Who are the other players in fintech that you have synergies with or with whom you might collaborate?

Kundu: Our noteworthy partners run the gamut from Microsoft — which has inducted us into their “Microsoft for Startups” program for The Top Startups in the World — to Stripe, as well as leading e-commerce destinations and retailers including eBay and Best Buy. Given the volume of recent partner inquiries, we are focused on the ones most aligned with our progressive vision. Looking ahead, you can expect to see more of INSPIRAVE’s solutions directly embedded in the retail and e-commerce platforms of our partners.

Finovate: Can you tell us a little about the team you’ve put together and who’ve helped the company get to where it is today?

Kundu: From interns and hires straight out of universities such as Cornell, RIT, Carnegie Mellon, to senior executives in our board, the common attribute that stands out among them all is this: the courage and the tenacity to solve for tough — and hitherto unsolved — problems. Each one is resolutely focused on alleviating the pain that hundreds of millions are living with, manifest in the staggering amount of consumer debt and gaping holes in financial wellness that get in the way of fulfilling the big goals that truly matter.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Splitit Secures Partnerships with Shopify, Divido.
  • Thought Machine Helps Standard Chartered Launch Digital Bank in Hong Kong.
  • OurCrowd Teams Up with Toyota in Search for Tech Talent.
  • Saving for What Matters: A Q&A with INSPIRAVE Founder and CEO Om Kundu.

Around the web

  • FinovateFall Best of Show winner Cinchy earns $500,000 cash prize as one of the winners of the 2019 VentureClash competition.
  • Signicat unveils new capabilities, including a new technical interface and new third party integrations, that extend the reach of its digital identity verification technology.
  • Arkose Labs VP of Marketing and Strategy Vanita Pandey and Senior Producer Hedda Peters win Women in Cybersecurity honors at the Cyber Defense Global Awards sponsored by Cyber Defense Magazine.
  • nCino partners with Seacoast Bank ($8.6 billion in assets).
  • iProov earns a finalist spot in the 2019 Go:Tech Awards.
  • Compliance and risk management firm Middesk brings its business verification tool to the Dwolla Partner Ecosystem.
  • Kinetica opens office in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Ping Identity adds to its North European operations with a new office in Utrecht, Netherlands.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News


  • LeasePlan Bank Opts for Ohpen’s Core Banking Technology.
  • 3E Software’s Teslar Scoops Up $1.8 Million.

Around the web

  • PNC now using Ripple’s XRP for cross-border payments.
  • Mortgage Media interviews Steve Butler, founder and GM of AI Foundry.
  • Flywire partners with Vietnam Prosperity Bank to simplify international tuition payments  for Vietnamese students.
  • InSpirAVE is being issued its first patent for the technology underlying its savings social network system. The patent is part of the company’s portfolio of patents published internationally.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News


  • eToro Adds IOTA Cryptocurrency to Platform.
  • First Data Partners with Ellie Mae to Improve Security of Lending Payments
  • Check out our latest FinovateFall Sneak Peek featuring ebankIT.

Around the web

  • UMB Fund Services adopts Temenos tech for ETF drive.
  • EMIDA joins wireless independent dealer association.
  • InSpirAVE earns spot in Top 100 at the Innovate Celebrate Conference’s Startup of the Year competition.
  • Data-in-use security specialist Enveil announces technology integration with Gemalto.
  • Onfido adds new VP of Global Marketing, General Counsel, and Director of People.
  • FICO extends partnership with Equifax Canada.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Social Savings Specialist InSpirAVE Offers Early Access to Platform

Social Savings Specialist InSpirAVE Offers Early Access to Platform

Fresh off its successful return to SXSW and a run through INV Fintech’s annual event in San Francisco, social savings innovator InSpirAVE is offering early access to its platform. The company is coming out with what founder and CEO Om Kundu calls an “entirely new look and multi-screen experience” for its app that leverages friends and family to help consumers make planned purchases by “saving more, faster” rather than succumbing to debt, fees, and impulse.

The company shared a few peeks at the new user interface below. The new look embraces InSpirAVE’s social approach to making remarkably better savings and spending decisions. InSpirAVE, which has won critical acclaim from forums including American Banker and BAI, enables users to invite friends and family to comment on – and contribute to – purchases the user wants to make but cannot yet afford without credit.

Connected friends and family can nudge users toward better selection decisions. Think of it as Yelp powered by friends and family who can make the path-to-purchase more personalized – and in ways that even the best product reviewers cannot. This not only enables users to avoid resorting to credit and falling into debt, but equally helps moderate impulse buying – a common source of overspending.

Users can then create a tailored plan to purchase the item, using the platform to choose their desired savings completion date, establish an initial deposit, and the intelligent setup of  recurring contributions. The InSpirAVE platform allows users to visualize the progress they are making toward their savings goal, including interest earned, social gifting, intelligent transfers, and any applicable discounts from the retailer. And once the requisite funds are saved, the user can purchase the item directly through the InSpirAVE platform.

Kundu said that a growing number of people have signed up for early access to the InSpirAVE platform, as have a growing number of merchant partners. He pointed out that the technology transforms the retail experience into a win-win for both sides of the transaction.

“Consumers get to better exercise their savings muscles to fulfill their purchase goals” while retailers and FIs “gain access to a more engaged and expanded customer base,” he explained. Kundu added that InSpirAVE’s intelligent p2p savings and commerce platform also gives merchants the benefit of greater social exposure to drive sales of their larger-ticket product-categories.

Headquartered in New York and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, InSpirAVE demonstrated its Internet of Savings platform at FinovateFall 2016. Kundu participated in our roundtable on savingstech last spring. While the company isn’t launching the platform to the general public quite yet, it is offering early access to beta accounts on a limited basis.

A Finovate Guide to the Future of SavingsTech

A Finovate Guide to the Future of SavingsTech


Don’t panic! I’m not necessarily saying that “savingstech” is yet another “thingtech” that you’ll be required to know before the next Fintech Cocktail Club social. Think of savings tech simply as shorthand for companies that are developing and deploying technologies that enable us save more of what we earn. Sure, the average fintech fan probably feels they know all there is to know when it comes to PFM. But the technologies that help ferry our hard-earned money into a safer place than the nearest cash register are more diverse than you might imagine.

Just check out our multi-part series on savings tech. From crowdfunding and Generation Z targeting to passive investing and goals-based PFM, fintech has left few technologies untested in the pursuit of better, more efficient and effective savings strategies for all of us.

And so the only question that remains is: Where is savings tech going and what will it look like when it gets there? We reached out to our Finovate alumni community and put the question to them. This is what they told us.

Om Kundu, CEO and Chairman InSpirAVE (FF16)

InSpirAVE’s Internet of Savings® platform leverages the power of social networks to encourage smart financial decision-making and amplify savings.

Finovate: What is the most challenging aspect about building a savings solution?

Om Kundu: A part of it is structural forces. Think about the arc in the evolution of the internet over the past decade and a half. It has been strikingly asymmetrical in how it has put our spending muscle on steroids while our longer-term savings muscle has atrophied on a relative basis … especially when it comes to goals that really matter.

If there is a singular obsession in ‘reducing friction’ that stands out in the juggernaut of e-commerce – as much as in-store technologies – it is the preoccupation of an ever-accelerating tech-stack to fuel “Push-Button-Get-Stuff” as the defining essence of commerce in much of our lives.

What is missing in that future? Technology that is equally ingenuous and accountable in furthering human agency to make decisions that are thoughtful, rather than impulsive. We think of them as purchase decisions, but they really are financial decisions that can only be made properly to the extent you and your loved ones have the tools to discern whether buying that shiny object really matters … and whether you have the savings to pay for it.


Pictured: InSpirAve CEO and Chairman Om Kundu demonstrating The Internet of Savings® at FinovateFall 2016.

Finovate: Let’s look to the future. What kind of savings technology will we see over the next three to five years, for example?

Kundu: It’s really about goals and creating sustainable, achievable pathways to getting you there in ways that are not only affordable, but are equally memorable in terms of the shared experiences that are created for you and your loved ones in that path-to-purchase. As the definition of liquidity – historically confined to monetary equity socked away in your bank account and credit line – becomes more inclusive of social equity across increasingly networked social platforms and distributed ledgers, your overall well-wishing community will play an equally important role as the historical stores of savings (banks) and spending (merchants) have.

And that’s a big part of the fabric woven into InSpirAVE’s design as well, empowering our users with the digital tools to cultivate their own well-wishing community which, in turn, eggs the user on … in articulation, accelerated progress, and ultimately fulfillment of whatever goal they set their mind to.

Bill Dwight, CEO and Founder, FamZoo (FS13)

FamZoo is an online and mobile platform that helps parents teach their children responsible personal financial habits through a private, secure”Virtual Family Bank.”

Finovate: Do you see a bright future of savings-enabled technologies?

Bill Dwight: I think savings enabling tech will explode in popularity. As a consumer, having to diligently exercise willpower to amass savings is a pretty horrible experience. If, on the other hand, a piece of smart automation can amass savings for me painlessly “behind my back”, the experience is nothing short of delightful. One day, you sign in and say, “whoa, I have $1000 in my emergency fund or $500 in my travel fund – awesome!” That’s what companies like Digit ( are doing for individuals, and that’s what we ( do for kids earning an allowance or working odd jobs for their parents. It’s such a delightful and positive financial experience from the norm that its expansion and evolution is inevitable.


Pictured: FamZoo CEO and Founder Bill Dwight demonstrating FamZoo’s Prepaid Card Family Pack at FinovateSpring 2013.

Finovate: Which direction do you think savings tech will – or should – go in the years to come?

Dwight: Automation algorithms will naturally grow more sophisticated and effective as they leverage more and more knowledge about the saver’s unique situation and financial habits. They’ll also be able to allocate funds across a broader array of target accounts in an integrated, optimal way. For example, if the algorithms know you have young kids, more automated savings might be redirected toward 529 accounts to help pay for future college expenses. Or, your teen with that first summer job might have more automated savings funneled toward an early Roth IRA where it can grow tax free for decades. Or, perhaps the everyday “behind your back” savings will automatically redirect to knock out your most expensive consumer debt first before adjusting back to satisfying your longer term savings goals.

Greg Midtbo, Chief Revenue Officer, Moven Enterprise (FE17)

Moven Enterprise is an engagement platform that transforms customer financial data into digital experiences and actionable insights.

Finovate: What is most challenging when it comes to building savings solutions?

Greg Midtbo: The challenge is to take a different approach. Industries primarily approach this from a product perspective, as savings-as-a-product, and how to find tools to enable that product. The hunch is to take it from a customer’s perspective, to help the customer understand the trade-offs between the little decisions they make day to day, and how that impacts their medium- and long-term financial well-being.

In other words, how to help people make better decisions that may give them simple ways to give transparency to that trade-off and to take action. This may mean how to (1) control their spending or manage their spending and then (2) how to manage what they do with the amount of money they make that they don’t spend – which is savings or investing or other durations of storing assets. I think that’s the challenge: to break out of the product and cross-sell-into-a-product metaphor and approach it from a holistic customer perspective.

Banks tend to communicate to people around savings around rate and term. And since we’re in a very low interest rate environment, there’s not a lot of motivation there. So the motivation we think is around their overall financial health and helping them understand that trade-off.


Pictured: Moven Chief Revenue Officer Greg Midtbo demonstrating Moven Enterprise at FinovateEurope 2017.

Finovate: And in terms of future, looking out over the next three to five years?

Midtbo: I think we’ll move beyond just insight into the current state and start to make smart recommendations. How do you get to those goals that you set – whether its that carbon fiber bike or savings for education and retirement? What actions can you take to get there? We think artificial intelligence algorithms that know everything about you and can start to bring financial advice are next … I’m thinking back to the e*Trade commercials – not just some guy your Dad introduced you to or a twice-a-year sit down with a financial advisor – but a solution that is everyday giving you a little bit of financial coaching based on you. Not based on people like you or a segment (of the population), but based on you, what your next smart financial move is.

So that and (removing) the friction from taking those actions are key. Put the product/channel construct in the background and, in the foreground, a more seamless and advice-driven customer experience.

Dr. Yassin Hankir, CEO and Founder, savedroid (FS16)

With its lifestyle savings rules called “smooves,” savedroid is an algorithm-based mobile app that transforms everyday activities into automated savings.


Pictured: Savedroid CEO and Founder Dr. Yassin Hankir demonstrating his company’s savings solution at FinovateSpring 2016.

Finovate: What is the future of SavingsTech? What can we expect from this space over the next three to five years?

Yassin Hankir: I strongly believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the key driver of innovation in savings technology going forward. Smart and autonomous savings tools enabling users to achieve their personal saving goals through automatically optimizing their individual savings and spending are on the rise.

This will create the next level of personal financial everyday assistance suitable for typical mass market users. (This will) contribute to fintech overcoming its niche market status and expanding to a significantly broader target audience.  

Ryan Clark, CEO and Founder, ProActive Budget (FF16)

One of the most popular savings strategies ever devised, cash envelope budgeting, is re-invented and digitized in the new savings solution from ProActive Budget.

Finovate: What are some of the most challenging issues in savings tech right now?

Ryan Clark: 57% of the U.S. is financially “unhealthy,” living paycheck-to-paycheck. For these people saving money isn’t even on their radar. They’re just trying to pay the bills each month. The key is to help them control their discretionary spend. Fix this and suddenly there’s some money to save.


Pictured: CEO and founder Ryan Clark demonstrating ProActive at FinovateFall 2016.

Do you see a bright future for savings-enabled technologies?

Clark: People like automation, but too much causes people to check out of their finances causing even worse problems. The ideal system will help them analyze their finances and then determine where they can cut back to be able to save. This must be involved and customized since money is very emotional. But these tools are coming and it will help people save and grow their wealth like never before.

Which direction do you think savings technology will – or should – go in the years to come?

Clark: It has to be holistic while keeping things simple. Spending controls will dominate the space since savings is a byproduct of spending decisions. The convergence of budgeting and banking will continue and accelerate making both controlling spending inside a planned budget and automated savings easier.

For more on our savings technology, check out our six-part series on key players and the enabling technologies.

Designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News


  • A Look at the Savings Tech Horizon: Crowdfunded Savings with Spiff and InSpirAVE.
  • LendingTree Launches Student Loan Comparison Tool.
  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • A Look at the Savings Tech Horizon: Advice-Only with Hellowallet and  Wealth Wizards.

Around the web

  • Malauzai Software launches Fingerprint Authentication and Touch ID technology for Android 7.0 this year.
  • VISA to enable electronic business payments for SME clients of B2B electronic invoicing network, Viewpost.
  • Fiserv reports nearly 30 banks and CUs deployed its digital banking technology in 2016, taking the total number of FIs using its online banking solutions to 3,500.
  • PurePoint launch leverages Zenmonics’ channelUNITED.
  • Bitpesa partners with Bitbond to financially assist SMEs.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

A Look at the Savings Tech Horizon: Crowdfunded Savings

A Look at the Savings Tech Horizon: Crowdfunded Savings


This is part four of a six part blog series about savings technology. Last week we discussed how savings technology works in goals-based PFM platforms and standalone, automated savings platforms and yesterday we looked at solutions targeted to Generation Z. Today, we’re shifting our focus to crowdfunded savings.

Missed the other five savings categories? Check them out:

The crowdfunding model has existed for more than a decade and expanded significantly when Obama enacted Title II of the JOBS Act in 2013. It’s no surprise, then, that we’re starting to see this model creep into the savings realm to enable friends and family to contribute money toward others’ goals.

Crowdfunded savings

These solutions are like Kickstarter for savings goals. Having a platform where you can request money or simply advertise what you’re saving for (in the hope someone might contribute), helps remove some of the awkwardness from asking for money. Spiff and InSpirAVE are goals-based PFM platforms that enable friends and family to contribute to users’ savings goals.

  • Spiff
    Norway-based Spiff launched its saving app at FinovateEurope 2016 in London. The company’s user interface simplifies what it takes to save for a goal and gives the user the option to save their money in a bank or in an investment fund. Spiff makes saving money a bit more fun by letting the user assign pictures to their goals and share them on social media and via messenger, where friends and family can contribute.
Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 5.04.50 PM
Couples who Spiff together, save together
  • InSpirAVE
    Having dubbed its solution the Internet of Savings, InSpirAVE has a lot to live up to. The company’s combination savings-shopping platform takes goals from cradle-to-grave, so to speak. InSpirAVE leverages third party information from eBay and other shopping sites to enable users to search for the exact product they want and build a wish list with the different options. Users solicit the opinions of their friends and family, who vote for the product they want to user to buy, and ultimately contribute funds to help the user make the purchase.

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 9.33.26 AM

The key to InSpirAVE is that the entire process– from dreaming of the goal, to finding the perfect product, funding and contributing to the goal, and even the point of purchase– takes place entirely within the InSpirAVE platform. The company’s founder and CEO Om Kundu, along with CTO Mark Krofchik, debuted at FinovateFall 2016 in New York.

To recap, here are the types of savings tech we’ve seen so far:

Stay tuned later this week for the final two categories.

Finovate Alumni News



  • Finovate Debuts: W.UP Offers a Library of Customer Insight Tools for Cross-Selling.

Around the web

  • Cachet Financial Solutions and Central Bank of Kansas City selected as the prepaid mobile banking provider of choice by ICBA Bancard.
  • Flywire (fka peerTransfer) expands to accept cross-border B2B transactions below the interbank rate.
  • WePay now accepts Apple Pay, Android Pay.
  • mBank announces new €50 million fintech fund for CEE startups.
  • South African payment service Peach Payments to offer merchants mobile checkout option using ACI mSDK from ACI Worldwide.
  • Misys earns top honors in three categories at the Xcelent 2017 awards.
  • Wipro unveils its digital consultant cloud bot, HOLMES.
  • Corning FCU ($1.29 billion) partners with Insuritas to improve insurance offerings for its more than 100,00 members.
  • InSpirAVE launches #SaveForWhatMatters podcast.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Debuts: InSpirAVE’s Internet of Savings™ Helps You Save for What Matters

Finovate Debuts: InSpirAVE’s Internet of Savings™ Helps You Save for What Matters


When it comes to saving for big purchase goals, most of us can use all the help we can get. With The Internet of Savings™ platform from InSpirAVE, consumers can not only accrue the benefit of savings from retail and financial institutions all in one place, but equally leverage the wisdom (and discretionary cash) of friends and family to make smart spending goals, design a personalized savings plan to help raise the money to meet those goals faster, and then track progress as the savings grow and those longed-for big-ticket purchases draw near – with InSpirAVE’s program relentlessly at work until the purchase arrives right at their doorstep.

“Much beyond ‘layaway on steroids’, InSpirAVE helps you multiply your savings so that those big purchase goals that you thought were out of reach are now all of a sudden in reach without getting into the debt trap,” InSpirAVE founder and CEO Om Kundu explained from the Finovate stage during his company’s demo last fall. “Much beyond financial health, InSpirAVE helps you achieve whatever big goal you set your mind to,” he said.


Pictured: InSpirAVE founder and CEO Om Kundu demonstrating the Internet of Savings™ at FinovateFall 2016.

At FinovateFall, Om Kundu and InSpirAVE CTO Mark Krofchik demonstrated how the Internet of Savings™ works. Consumers starting on the platform search for items (“aspirations”) they are interested in purchasing from bicycles to consumer electronics, jewelry, and more courtesy of InSpirAVE’s API-integration with leading retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, and eBay. The consumer finds items of interest, adds them to their wishlist and then solicits advice on the potential purchase from friends or family using email, text, or social networks directly from the InSpirAVE platform. “So rather than an impulsive purchase, we are creating a shared experience where friends and family can get engaged to create a thoughtful purchase decision,” Kundu said. “And with friends and family more engaged they are more likely to support the user further downstream.”

And “downstream” is where much of the innovation in InSpirAVE lies. After choosing the item, the consumer picks a savings completion date, decides an initial deposit amount, sets up recurring contributions aided by InSpirAve’s AI capabilities, and the personalized payment plan is complete. And through merchant offers, the use of a savings account during the fundraising process, and successful completion of “personal savings challenges”, consumers are able to save a lot more faster on the price of their purchases. Consumers can use secure email and messaging to then invite friends and family – especially those who participated in the decision-making process – to help support the actual purchase of the item they recommended.

Kundu notes that InSpirAVE’s technology has been particularly cited for knocking down siloes that get in the way of saving and responsible purchases, and for engineering a simple way for people to “save for what matters.” InSpirAVE was selected as one of the top eight emerging technology ventures at SXSW in 2016, during inaugural year the festival accelerator established Fintech & Payments as a distinct category. The company was separately recognized by American Banker and BAI as among the world’s Top FinTech Forward companies.

Company facts

  • Founded in 2014
  • Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and New York City
  • Developed proprietary technology backed with published patents in several markets globally

InSpirAVE_OmKunduWe caught up with InSpirAVE founder and CEO Om Kundu at Finovate last fall, and followed up with a few questions by email. His responses are below.

Finovate: What problem does InSpirAVE solve?

Om Kundu: In contrast to the impulse to “buy, buy, buy” as our InSpirAVE focus-group users have told us they’re bombarded with (the average household with credit card debt has balances totaling $16K according to the Fed), there isn’t enough impetus to save for what matters with 69% of Americans having less than $1,000 in savings: In fact there isn’t a vehicle to save for anything specific with the exception of retirement or schooling: Persistently low interest rates has also left financial institutions with diminished incentives for consumers to save.

InSpirAVE empowers fulfillment of big purchase goals without debt by helping Users make thoughtful purchase decisions and create a personalized savings plan to fulfill them: The magic of our Internet-of-Savings™ platform helps you save faster through the support of friends and family, as well as partnering merchants and financial institutions: InSpirAVE does so by creating a new underlying set of economic incentives that have proven to be materially significant for partnering banks and merchants to encourage their customers to save.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Kundu: That nearly half of the country is living paycheck–to-paycheck and yet a third of purchases are regretted speaks to the initial consumer segments InSpirAVE is serving: Digital buyers who want to make their next big purchases responsibly, without debt.

We are also tapping into findings from our own proprietary InSpirAVE research that we have candidly been astonished by ourselves. Digitally-savvy consumers whose demonstrated behaviors on the InSpirAVE platform have borne out time and again how much of a premium they assign to advice from trusted friends/family to make their next big purchase equally affordable and memorable (rather than just another transaction).

Our Internet-of-Savings™ platform provides intelligent tools empowering such users with the discipline to make responsible financial decisions — it starts with thoughtfully selecting what matters, and does not stop until that purchase-goal is saved-for and fulfilled. Merchants and financial institutions partnering with InSpirAVE are equally benefiting from our socially responsible model and realizing materially enhanced revenues through greater engagement and expansion of their customer base.


Finovate: How does InSpirAVE solve the problem better?

Kundu: The magic of the InSpirAVE platform is empowering users with advice from their network of friends and family — big purchase decisions are more well-informed by those who care about you the most.

By harnessing behavioral finance principles and goals that matter, rather than saving for saving’s sake, InSpirAVE’s design, AI, and content-creation tools have made it extraordinarily simple to foster a well-wishing community who egg the user on to ensure the goal is fulfilled, even if it may have been out-of-reach otherwise.

Users are saving faster through The Internet-of-Savings™ platform by drawing from multiple sources — savings from merchants and banks, as well as contribution of friends and family — whose benefits have turned out to be an order-of-magnitude higher than what solely relying on savings from just one source would…for users as well as partnering merchants and banks.

Partnering merchants are realizing the benefits of enhanced purchasing power, highly predictive and signals of spending intent, and material reduction in volume of merchandise returns, as are financial institutions from enhanced savings-levels and “on us” transaction volume. Enduring loyalty is being forged in ways that is translating tertiary customers into lasting primary relationships, including those with consumers that would have otherwise fallen outside a retail and financial institution’s traditional definition of addressable market.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution.

Kundu: Users on — either directly or through partnering institutions — are discovering their next big purchase goal through access to one of the largest merchandise selections, through our integration with some of the most well-recognized merchants. Case-in-point of how the InSpirAVE platform is also empowering users to make intelligent purchase decisions. Beyond comments left by random strangers on a website, InSpirAVE is helping them get the informed opinion of friends, family, and experts they know and trust.

InSpirAVE is giving users the benefits of interest income for the funds they already have as well as the merchant’s best offer. The AI embedded within our platform is generating a personalized plan to get the user from where they are to where they need to be, by setting aside funds on an ongoing basis. Taken together, users are ending up saving a lot more, faster with InSpirAVE. Fulfillment of the goal is also being significantly accelerated with friends and family taking advantage of the capability InSpirAVE provides to make p2p monetary contributions. Once the goal is reached, users are choosing to have the merchandise show-up right at their doorstep or at their preferred retail location.


Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Kundu: The InSpirAVE vision has crystallized from decades in operating track-record its team has had connecting the dots across retail, financial services and technology sectors, both in scaling new ventures from scratch (in fintech and ‘big data’, predating the entry of such buzzwords into the lexicon of shiny objects) and in direct accountability for P&L of consumer portfolios for over 10+ million users and $40+ billion in balances.

Our team has demonstrated ability in forging new ways to deliver superior returns for both investors and clients over and over again, even as they have remained unrelenting in delighting end-users.

On a personal note, I humor myself into thinking that my life experiences as an immigrant and an entrepreneur has taught me some lessons that have become impossible to forget on the importance of setting goals for the long haul, and ensuring the promise of a vibrant future is democratized for access by all. Perhaps even more sobering is the sheer amount of necessary grit, grace, and support I have seen being pitched in for such goals to be collectively shared in ways that ultimately improve lives for all involved.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from InSpirAVE that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Kundu: We are currently in private beta gearing up for full release. As excited as everyone has been with InSpirAVE being named Top FinTech Company To Watch by American Banker and BAI, and our recognition as a presenting company at South by Southwest, and EFMA among others, personally it’s been even more fulfilling to see how surprisingly popular InSpirAVE has proven to be with thousands who have signed-up in anticipation: If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to sign-up in our current waiting list. Our advice to those wishing to get-in on the action sooner with priority access is to share that you’ve signed-up through social media channels: it’s likely that quite a few of your friends and family are already there.

Many in our current private beta have also told us how much they like realizing their savings all in one place via our platform. Expect to see more, with a wider range of users realizing the magic of our platform, both stateside and in select markets globally.

Finovate: Where do you see your company a year or two from now?

Kundu: Our InSpirAVE roadmap is on-track harnessing the full potential of our P2P savings marketplace with AI facilitating increasingly greater capabilities for users in discovering their aspired goals as well as in creating content to engage their well-wishing community. Value tangibly unlocked from social equity is opening up new vistas to realize goals well beyond the traditional confines of cash or credit users may, or, may not have had access to.

Looking ahead we see the assignment of purpose — by saving for a goal — unlocking massive efficiencies in transforming idle cash into powerful signals of spending intent: Further avenues are opening up in how both retail consumers as well as enterprises — particularly across travel, education, automotive, and residential real estate sectors — are realizing the magic of InSpirAVE.

InSpirAVE’s Om Kundu (CEO, Founder, Chairman) and Mark Krofchik (Chief Technology Officer) demonstrating the Internet of Savings at FinovateFall 2016.