Algbra discussion

All going according to the 2020s fintech startup playbook. Cobble together a MVP with a dubious USP, sp, ahem, spend VC funding up the wall, then go and wind down having added shiny titles to your CV.

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Lots of companies abandoned X in 2023.

3 weeks ago

Lots of companies abandoned TikTok in 2023 too, if they ever really used it at all.

Not sure what’s up with that.

I’m not sure where exactly you’re looking, but there are plenty of updates and blog posts. The most recent being December.

I think right now, they’re ok. But folks will always read too much into things and make a mountain out of a molehill.

Whether they’ll last in the longer term is up for debate, but the corporate structure is interesting and worth looking into. It’s reminiscent of Octopus in a lot of ways.

I’m not suggesting they are in trouble, but for a company that was very active on various channels in the past they are very quiet (lots of companies ditched X last year but they usually took up somewhere else) and with two days to go before their flagship incentive ends I thought we’d have heard something from them. Hence, is everything OK? I’m not reading too much into it, I just think it’s odd.

Also, “Only one update (for Cubes) on their website since August 2023” and “I’m not sure where exactly you’re looking, but there are plenty of updates and blog posts. The most recent being December.” - Yes, plenty until August 2023 and then only one in December. What I said.

I know you’re not but plenty of others have been over the last several months and they have a tendency to latch on to any little indication of truth to the conspiracy as proof.

The Blog has probably been quiet lately because there just isn’t that much to say (and no time for the past superfluous stuff), but it’s not the first time they’ve gone longer than a couple of months without one.

I don’t think it’s particularly odd either. They’re still pretty active on Instagram, which I’ve noticed is where a lot of the brands I tend to like have shifted all their attention to lately.

The Feb 14th expiry date has now disappeared from the app. Maybe it’s now staying for good affirming my earlier post about them telling me it’s being extended.

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Although they’ve not yet got around to updating the actual terms and conditions for the offer - which does still have the 14th Feb date.

Presumably that’ll be updated at some point today. I’d be very surprised if they just left it ‘open ended’ with no (provisional) end date in the future or at least a clause saying what the notice period is for ending the offer.

I would’ve thought the ‘safest’ option for Algbra on this sort of offer would be to just extend it a further 12 months if they’re sure they can cover it. At least it gives them an option next year to review and decide if they want to carry on or not depending on what the market is doing.

I doubt Chase is quaking in their boots worrying about what Algbra might or might not do, but Algbra might be impacted depending on what Chase does. Imagine if Martin Lewis tells his followers about Algbra and they suddenly get a huge influx of customers? (actually - has he already done that?)

I don’t think there’s a conspiracy there. There have been a lot of fintech startups appearing, making a big song and dance then imploding when the VC funding runs out.

Algbra, like most of them, doesn’t really have a USP and is now just copying the successful ones. You could argue that “Triodos, but Monzo” is their USP but I say there’s no demand for that, Tred went down pretty quickly.

They currently have their cashback offer which is driving customers so they can show both activity and sign ups to milk that sweet sweet investor cash, but I doubt they can make cashback profitable, and they aren’t the one of the world’s biggest banks. They can’t afford to just buy themselves out of the issues all startups eventually face.

That, combined with the signs that things aren’t working so well (dodgy cashback tracking and lacklustre support already) shows that they aren’t ready for prime time.

When – not if, but when – cashback runs out they will have an exodus, the VC money will stop (it might stop anyway, general trends point that way), and they will have to shut down shop.

The tacked-together feeling of the way cashback works, etc makes me think they haven’t even set things up for long term operations.

Anyone launching a new “bank” or “card” these days is in it for the money and the shiny words on their CV. I don’t expect Fana to last beyond 12 months either.

Algbra does not offer interest on the current account or savings, so offering 1.5% on purchases specifically made using the mobile wallet is in my view more sustainable.

Capitalism is capitalism, we’re in it because we want to gain, fintech offer it because they also want to gain.

If it closes, another door opens, and we just move on. I say make the most of it while you can.

Had confirmation from them this morning that cashback is staying (with better functionality mentioned) and they’d be announcing this soon.

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A nice little savings account would be good for them, or the chance to gain interest on their ‘Cubes’. Don’t know if that is against their ethical thing though.

I think they’ve said they’re never going to do interest products.

Lots of other really exciting plans for cubes on the website though.

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Yeah - I think we tend to overlook that one of their USP’s is being a ‘bank’ (or ‘FinTech that’s not actually a bank’) is that they also folllow islamic principles in money management - so no interest on accounts. In that case, the cash back is their ‘equivilent’ of interest.

Looking at their ‘cube’ page though - is roundup’s into cubes actually already an option? It shows it as a feature on their page, but I can’t work out how to switch it on?

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Roundups aren’t there yet. It says available soon like a lot of the cubes features on that page.

If they can actually deliver on all of that stuff, the USP because a little less of an issue, because they’ll surpass the feature that’s often touted as the reason for Monzo’s success and become a much better implementation.

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No info on the new offer

It’s still showing in the app as being active. I suspect it just needs a terms and conditions update, which I would imagine will drop today since the old one ended 12 minutes ago.

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This is what I received in a message earlier this week:

Whilst we’re still finalising the details, we have decided to extend the Super Cashback offer there is no plan to have any delay and you’ll continue earning cashback up to and beyond the 15th :smile: Be sure to please keep your eyes peeled on the end date communication via email.

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They’ve just posted on Instagram to ‘Keep your notifications on - soon, you might hear more about the benefits you love’.

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It’s official.

Although terms still haven’t been updated.

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