Alvin is the smart money manager app for Africa that helps people align their daily spending with their savings goals.
A note from Winston
Harry, Henry and I started Alvin in May of last year to solve a personal problem we realized millions of people across Africa are also having: an increasing number of people across Africa have the income needed to save to buy land, a car, and other assets that would generate wealth for themselves and their families, but buying these assets in cash (the preference for many folks) requires consistent saving for long periods of time. Many folks struggle to save long enough because it is still too difficult to know where one’s money is going (making it easier for a person to overspend), and hardly enough guidance readily available on how to get from wherever you are today to where you need to be in order to buy that plot of land, or that first car/etc., debt free. We believe anyone should be able to download an app then instantly see their roadmap toward their savings goals. We’re building Alvin to now make it that simple. For everyone.
Just six months after getting started, we’re proud to announce the nearly 2x oversubscribed closing of our pre-seed financing round, led by Nigerian venture capital firm Ingressive Capital. This was the first investment of their new fund.
The Alvin Family has grown
In addition to Ingressive Capital, we are welcoming the CEO of Paystack (acq. by Stripe) Shola Akinlade, the former CEO of Dondé (acq. by Mobify) Tony Nicalo, East Africa-focused VC Zephyr Acorn, the B2B SaaS-focused US seed fund Forum Ventures, leading African VCs Future Africa and Voltron Capital, and UAE-based consultancy Tahseen Consulting to the Alvin family. Angel investors from Kenya and the United States also participated in the round. In January 2022, we will also be participating in Forum Ventures’s W22 accelerator batch to help us expedite our road to scale.
We’re excited to have such mission-aligned partners and strategic angels onboard the Alvin journey to help us build an ever more intuitive and powerful personal finance app for all of Africa faster and more efficiently. This capital will enable us to hire key personnel quickly and scale faster as we transition from the private beta stage of the Alvin App v1: Labrador to the first public version of Alvin later in the quarter. (Join the waitlist today for the Alvin App v1 here!) We’re starting off building Alvin as a personal finance app for consumers, but we’re building it in such a way where existing wealth management firms can embed Alvin’s most unique features into their own apps to help their clients save/invest more consistently and withdraw prematurely from their accounts less frequently.
Here’s to the continuation of our journey to help folks across the continent align their daily spending with their financial goals. We’re only just getting started.
Founder & CEO at Alvin
Build the future with us
Does the prospect of working in a fast-paced environment to build the most powerful personal finance app in Africa sound intriguing to you? Check out our available positions here and drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation! We’re excited to meet you.
Stay posted ahead of our seed round
We will be starting a prospective investor newsletter for value-add investors who could be strategic for our seed round.
Email our CEO Winston Reid at email@example.com to request access. We’re excited by the prospect of inviting you onboard the journey.
Which money personality type are you and how does it affect your ability to save?
Do you find it cooler to brag about how many more beers you downed over the weekend than your mates, or to see real progress toward achieving your bigger goals? Do you feel guilty when you go on a spending bender, or do you fear spending so you compulsively save and feel like you’re missing out on fun because of it?
Understanding what money management personality type you have will help you understand what habits you need to change or create to become a happy saver — one that can enjoy life now and achieve your future goals.
Six common money management personality types explained:
1. The investor/money-maker
You’ve got to speculate to accumulate.
The investor or money-maker’s top priority in life is making money. If you’re an investor/money-maker, you believe that life gets better the more money you make, and you often crave recognition for your financial efforts and successes.
Ability to save: You’re good at saving because money is so important to you, but you also take risks to win bigger. By being so focused on making money, you might lose sight of the fun you could be missing out on shorter term and ultimately regret not having a more balanced approach to your financial gameplan. A budgeting app can be key to doing this easily.
2. The saver/compulsive saver
Maybe one day I’ll spend my savings
In one way, a bit like the money-maker, the compulsive saver sees money as a source of security. If you’re a compulsive saver, you fear impulsive spending or spending money for pleasure, so you’re an expert at hunting down bargains and pride yourself on being very careful with money.
Ability to save: You’re an excellent saver, but, like the money-maker, you may be saving at the expense of living your life. Having a budgeting app with an expense tracker might help you achieve a better balance.
3. The spender/compulsive spender
Because life is for the living!
The compulsive spender is prone to extreme behaviour in all areas of life, for example going through phases of intense exercise, followed by periods of inactivity and lethargy. If you’re a compulsive spender, you’ll often spend or overspend on unnecessary things to make you feel good, particularly if you’re feeling stressed. You will often feel guilty for spending but will make a point of trying to justify big spending splurges to yourself and others.
Ability to save: You probably want to save and be able to control your spending splurges, but you might not feel like you can or know where to start. Get a handle on where your money’s at with an app that is designed to help you do your thing each day and be in control of reaching your goals.
3. The gambler
Fortune favors the brave, right?
An interesting mix of money-maker and compulsive spender, the gambler is eager to make a lot of money quickly and believes taking big risks is the way to get big rewards. As a gambler, you get a real buzz from the risks that pay off, but you can feel really low about losing money.
Ability to save: Saving isn’t really on your agenda — you’re all about making as much money as you can and thriving on the buzz of gambling big. It might be worth having a look at splitting up your money, so you have a pot that you’re willing to risk and a pot that you’re not. Explore how the Alvin App can help you make this distinction.
5. The impulse saver/spender
The occasional treat never hurt anyone…
A mix of the compulsive saver and the compulsive spender, the impulse saver/spender is smart with money but occasionally gives in to spending urges. If you’re an impulse saver/spender, you’ll get satisfaction from saving money but will occasionally feel restricted and treat yourself to a spending spree, for which you might feel guilty and regretful.
Ability to save: You know how to save and you’re good at it, but your attitude towards saving is that it’s a chore and that it’s your ticket to a life of no fun. That’s why you sometimes fall off the wagon and why it hurts so much when you do. Getting a real handle on your money using a budget app or expense tracker could help even out your feelings towards money.
6. The worrier
I should probably prepare for the worst
Constantly concerned about losing money or not having enough of it, the worrier is often trying to be a better saver but doesn’t always know how. If you’re a worrier, you lack confidence in your ability to ever achieve financial freedom — in other words, to feel completely secure in your ability to live your life as you want without the risk of spending more than you expected and running low. You’ll often be in preparation mode and would like support with becoming a confident budgeter and happy saver; this money management buddy could be just what the worrier needs to help build that confidence.
Ability to save: There’s nothing worse than feeling constantly stressed and eaten up by money worries. This happens to people who have a lot of money in the bank, as well as those who have very little — the worry isn’t always about how much money you technically have but your understanding of where it comes from and where it’s going each month. Ask yourself: am I ready to understand my money, love saving, and reach my goals?
Which money personality type are you?
Take a minute to write a few sentences about the traits you think describe you. For example: ‘I feel guilty when I spend money on things I don’t need’ or ‘If I’m not investing and making money then I’m failing in life’.
No matter which money personality type you are, finding the right money app is important. You need a wise money buddy that recognizes your spending habits and inclination to save so you’ve got the knowledge and support to celebrate the little wins that lead to achieving those big goals.
Meet Alvin, the wise money buddy for every smartphone user in Africa.