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Mongo App: An AI-powered financial coach to help students

FinTech & Finance
Mongo App: An AI-powered financial coach to help students

❓ Business Model

  • An AI-powered financial coach to help students navigate all things money related in uni life.
  • Freemium model + offering enterprise solution with brand partners and higher ed institutes.

📈 Traction

  • Grew user base to 400+ users in <3 months and partners with 7+ universities organically.
  • Part of non-dilutive accelerators: LBS Launchpad, Galvanizer, and StartEd and accepted to more!
  • Bootstrapped from Jan 2023 after winning 1st at LBS Hackathon before Angel grant in May 2023.

🌱Founding Team

  • Alisha Chowdhury (Co-founder & CEO)
    - 2x 1st place winner of LBS Hackathon (back to back).
    - Received scholarships to University of Pennsylvania and most prestigious scholarship to London Business School for her MBA.
  • Luciano Gucciardo (Co-Founder and CTO)
    - Learned coding on his own (didn't study it in undergrad!).
    - Grew up in political &  economic turmoil in Venezuela and got admitted into university in the US.

Mongo App: An AI-powered financial coach to help students

📖 Story

Mongo was founded by students for students. Alisha, co-founder of Mongo, was in her MBA at LBS and found that when she spoke to her classmates and other university students, they really struggled with personal finances because they didn't have the foundations or support.

Alisha was raised by working class immigrant parents from Bangladesh in New Orleans, LA. Growing up, she had limited access to financial education and guidance due to lack of resources in public schools in Louisiana and her parents’ limited knowledge. It wasn’t until she studied at the University of Pennsylvania that she participated in a non-profit program called Girls Who Invest where she learned about personal finances and her earnings potential.

Alisha spent the first 5 years of her career as an investor in the financial services sector working at Vanguard, Fidelity and Wafra. Alisha went on a mission to create a solution to help her younger self and all other students, using her knowledge in finance and her first-hand experiences as a student. So when she arrived for her MBA at LBS, she started building Mongo, which was conceived at a Hackathon at LBS. Alisha won first place and used the prize money to bootstrap the Mongo App.

👀 Reasons to watch

  • Over 80% of university students say they are worried about making ends meet and money is one of the biggest stressors in their life. Over 16 million university students in the US and UK are suffering from a financial health crisis.
  • Students are missing out on up to £25,000 per year in earnings potential, scholarships / funding, and cost savings due to lack of personalized financial guidance and career coaching.
  • 70% of Gen Zs say they are looking for a side hustle, with the majority looking for side hustles to cover debt payments or regular expenses. The average side hustle can bring in at least £500 per month (greater than the average food budget for a student in London!). The most common online side hustles are taking online surveys, freelance work and selling items like clothing or furniture, but students say they just don’t know where to start their side hustle or market their skills. Mongo helps with discovery and accountability. 75% of Mongo users discovered new career opportunities and discounts via the Mongo coach and their users have found side hustles that pay £200+ per week.
  • Mongo is the first-ever AI powered financial coach chatbot that offers on demand support to students and young adults who need help navigating finding jobs, making extra money, and student financing. Over 60% of Mongo users say they prefer to explain their financial situation to the Mongo coach chatbot versus traditional methods (talking to a school advisor or doing the research on their own).

➕Further reading

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