In the Hot Seat – Poklet
Poklet is the company behind the app with the same name developed to help challenge financial illiteracy. Poklet’s financial educational app for kids and teens comes with a digital wallet and payment card, connecting financial lessons with real-life money decisions. We put co-founder and CEO of Poklet Dominykas Čeledinas in the Hot Seat.
Tell us in a few sentences about your company and the product.
The team behind Poklet comprises smart, ambitious people with a passion for improving kids’ financial skills. Being a part of the Poklet journey is truly inspiring. The Poklet app is a brilliant idea that provides financial skills to kids and teens – they learn how to save, earn and spend money wisely.
How was 2021 for Poklet? What were your key challenges?
It was an exciting year, having launched Poklet to the public in Lithuania. We aimed to launch before summer but soon realised that product development would take longer in order to get the app to where we wanted, so we postponed the launch date to autumn. Imagine our surprise when we still managed to onboard more than 3% of the total child population in Lithuania in less than a year. This felt very rewarding – our ambitions and hard work were bearing fruit.
What are your main goals for Poklet in 2022?
We are eager to enter new markets. Furthermore, we want to introduce more exciting features in the app to tailor the educational process to the individual, making it more fun and engaging as well as a more powerful educational tool.
What is the outlook for financial education in the kids and teens sector in the coming year?
The start-up scene at the intersection of fintech and edtech is growing. For example, three US fintech start-ups that focused on providing banking products to kids and teens all landed successful fundraising rounds in April 2021, racking up a collective $580 million.
Are there any key trends in this sector you think are important to Poklet?
Interest in financial education topics is constantly rising. Parents increasingly acknowledge the importance of financial skills for kids and teens. Public institutions emphasise the low financial literacy problem and seek a solution.
Financial products become more complicated and technology has a significant impact on the financial world; therefore, the need for proper financial skills will continue to grow in the future.
Who are the main shareholders and management of the company and are there any plans for future hires or positions?
Four founders hold majority shares in Poklet, each of whom contributes specific knowledge: Tomas Mendelsonas (education), Evaldas Remeikis (fintech), Justina Bučinskaitė (sales), and me (software engineering). Soon, we will start looking for a Growth Officer and a full-time Product Owner. I should also mention that we would welcome the opportunity to connect with great IT engineers and marketing specialists interested in contributing to Poklet.
Can you profile or paint a picture of a typical customer of Poklet?
All families with kids between the ages of 7-17 can benefit from the Poklet app. From a parent’s perspective, the app makes pocket money management easier and provides a tool for addressing any worries they may have about teaching their kids to handle money. At the same time, kids welcome the freedom of being able to make their own money decisions, get their own debit card and gamify the lessons in the app.
What is your key message to customers and how do you convey that information to them?
Financial literacy is essential to navigating today’s consumer market and it has a profound effect on your life situation. With Poklet, we want to teach kids financial skills to make them better equipped to manage money decisions and show them that learning via the app can be fun, for kids and parents alike.
We run social media campaigns, work with influencers to reach both kids and parents, and drive referral programmes. We also collaborate with schools and teachers to develop lessons and the app itself.
What would you say the biggest challenges are for Poklet going forwards?
The upcoming challenge for us is to enter new markets. We feel well prepared; the team has the required competencies and the app’s architecture is built to support multiple markets/languages. However, there are local flavours we need to learn about and adopt into our lessons and communication. We need to find suitable partners for our localised campaigns to ensure we position ourselves firmly, discover local influencers, and reach our target audience.
What area/geography/sector presents the biggest opportunity for Poklet?
We have launched the Poklet app in Lithuania, next we want to enter other European countries such as Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, and Poland. The Eurozone makes for the lowest thresholds since the same currency is used, and these countries, in particular, are chosen as we have networks there, financial illiteracy is topical there or the use of physical money is decreasing, benefiting our offering.
If you could leave investors with just three words to describe the future of Poklet, what would they be?
Can it be five? Next-generation banking customers build-up.
How could Funderbeam investors help you?
Sufficient financing is key for Poklet’s future growth. I would like to invite you to be a part of our journey by investing in Poklet and helping propel the financial literacy of our next generation. I would also encourage parents to invest with their children and make this an experience in true Poklet spirit, whereby you can teach your child how investments in companies work. And of course, please spread the word about Poklet and our cause as well as the investment opportunity to friends and colleagues. That would be greatly appreciated!