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FINANCIAL SERVICES, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Hong Kong
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Former investment banker launched HK's first financial comparison site

The startup raised $3m funding in just one year.

Price comparison websites are mushrooming elsewhere in Hong Kong to cater for specific needs of consumers searching out for the best deals available.

In the financial area, HongKong-based startup MoneyHero claims to be the pioneer in featuring an independent comparison portal and a comprehensive product database. With operations starting May last year, the portal also comes with useful tools and guides aimed at helping customers save money and make the right financial decisions.

After realizing the lack of comparison sites for financial needs in Hong Kong, the investment banker turned startup founder, Alister Musgrave discussed this idea with his friend and a former colleague, Gerald Eder, Managing Partner of CompareAsia Group, who was, by coincidence, setting up a comparison site in Malaysia at the time. Two weeks later Alister joined him and arrived in Hong Kong, setting up MoneyHero, with seed capital from Nova Founders Capital and some local HK venture capital investors including Stem Capital and angel investors within a year.

“I lived in the UK for many years, where I used comparison sites all the time for my banking and insurance needs. In 2013, I went on several trips to HK and I noticed that when I tried to get a credit card, I was faced with hundreds of offers but found that there wasn’t a site where I can compare like I was used to back home. I did some research and was surprised to see that there were no local comparison sites to help you compare thousands of financial products,” said Alister.

Alister serves as the Managing Director of Money Hero. He was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley for four years. He has been quoted in quite a number of online publications, including a Forbes article, “An Open Letter to Hong Kong Angel Investors.”

Helping Alister is a team composed of individuals who were holding lofty positions on the corporate ladder before betting on this new venture.

Stuart Glendinning, Head of Channels, was former managing director for MoneySuperMarket.com, which is billed as the world’s first financial marketplace. Lawrence Chau, VP, Business Development, was former Strategy Executive at JobsDB. He also has a background in consulting. Stefan Bruun, CMO, was formerly APAC CMO of Groupon, and was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley before he co-founded Nova Founders Capital, which incubated MoneyHero and the entire CompareAsia Group.

More about the business concept

According to Alister, MoneyHero.com.hk is all about bringing the power back to the consumers—the power of choice, the power of information—by giving them free access to user-friendly comparison tools so they can compare the most essential financial products, such as credit cards, personal loans, and medical insurance.

“Consumers in HK come across thousands of offers for credit cards, loans and insurance, but no one site to compare them all. MoneyHero simplifies the search for financial products, so that anyone can go online and find the best products they need; compare them all in one spot, apply online, and save money and time,” he said.

Alister added that MoneyHero represents only the facts and ensures a fully optimized on-site experience for the users. They don't put advertisements and other elements that would compromise that user experience.

“Ultimately, we are helping consumers change their lives for the better. Money saved is more than just cash in the bank; it’s perhaps an education, medical treatment for your loved one, or a holiday for your kids. By having a reliable go-to comparison site where consumers can compare all available options, there’s no longer a reason for them to merely settle for the most convenient choice as offered by their bank or local insurance agent. Everyone is empowered to find the best choice. Everyone is empowered to save money and improve their lives,” said Alister.

At the same time, through the promotion of better transparency among local providers, MoneyHero is confident that these providers will be encouraged to improve their products and services, and be more competitive in terms of pricing, for the greater benefit of the consumers.

According to Alister, MoneyHero continues to optimize their comparison tool to make searches faster, easier, and more customized for the consumer.

“The opportunity is ours to win, so now we just have to focus on providing the best service for the user and being a valuable money-saving resource for Hong Kong,” said Alister.

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Company Profile

Company Name: MoneyHero.com.hk
Founder: Alister Musgrave
Website: www.moneyhero.com.hk
Major Investors: Stem Capital, Nova Founders Capital
Total funding at hand: USD3 million
Source of Funding: Nova Founders Capital, HK based Stem
Capital, and local HK angel investors

Start of Operation: May 2013 

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