Founder: Chris Walsh
HQ: Auckland, NZ
What problems do you solve and what products or services do you sell?
We solve a lack of transparency in financial products. This includes explaining KiwiSaver schemes in plain English, finding the best travel money card, or learning the options when it comes to writing a will.
Our MoneyHub guides have something for everyone looking to make an informed choice. Our editorial team updates every resource regularly making sure we’re 100% up-to-date on the latest offerings.
Best of all, we’re 100% free to use and 100% objective – we don’t have ‘sponsored deals’ or ‘paid placements’. If something is excellent, we’ll explain why it’s great. And vice versa.
Who and where are your target customers?
We’re focused on 18 to 45-year olds. Specifically, we want to be the go-to resource for any adult looking for information when making a financial decision.
Every week, we help tens of thousands of New Zealanders save money on financial products. This includes insurance, credit cards and banking, and help explain investments, home loan borrowing and other key products to tens of thousands more.
How and when did you first come up with the idea for your business?
Financial education has always been my interest. Price comparison sites are popular overseas, but New Zealand didn’t have anything similar. I wanted it to provide essential resources that are accessible to everyone.
The purpose is to bring financial transparency to insurance, banking, credit cards, loans, investments and other vital areas.
After a successful trial period, we rolled out hundreds of resources over 2018 and 2019, and plan 500+ more guides in 2020. By 2022 we expect to be a top 100-visited website in New Zealand.
What are three things about your business that you are proud of?
1) Our user numbers grow and grow every week based on user trust – we’re committed to having five million users a year by the end of 2020. It’s a significant number, but we’re on track to reach it.
2) It’s free for everyone, and we always promote the best value products and services – whatever we publish, we’re 100% committed to objective information. I knew from the start we’re only as good as our last guide or resource. If a commercial arrangement compromises it, there is no value in what we’re saying. We remain committed to this, even if we send thousands of leads to companies every week who don’t pay us anything. It’s all about being accessible, helpful, free and relevant.
3) It’s helpful, and people love us – we get so many emails which usually go along the lines of “I found your guide on…, it’s great, and I’ve shared it with everyone I know”. I never got these emails when I worked at Merrill Lynch! We know we’re on the right path because of the positive responses, regular unsolicited media citations and sales traction with our corporate clients.
How do you market your business and what advice do you have for others around marketing?
Marketing is a tricky one for online-only businesses. You can quickly sink $5,000/week into Google Ads and Facebook promotion and have little to show from it in the medium term.
We’ve gone a different way and committed to having new users find us through organic search. We spend a lot of time getting this right, and still, there is a lot to improve.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in building your business so far?
Server overload – it occasionally happens despite upgrading our service with our host. MoneyHub.co.nz is, for the use of a better word, a prototype. After we reach our 5 million users in 2020, we’ll migrate to a custom design with dedicated servers placed all over New Zealand.
What is the biggest entrepreneur lesson you would like to share with other Kiwis thinking of starting their own business?
New Zealand is small, but there are lots of things we need right now that can scale fast.
In the UK and US, new businesses are going live every day with great products and services New Zealand won’t get to see.
This is not my first business, and I always make sure the business will completely solve a problem before launching. If it does, you’ll scale and earn trust.
Right now, I’m loving the Ethique products, which is entirely positioned at never producing a plastic bottle. This may not be anyone’s individual problem, but it’s a HUGE global problem. And then there’s Xero, which I’ve used in my other businesses since 2013. It solved many issues, but one for us was automating repeating invoices.
So, my answer is “solve a real problem”. But make sure it has revenue potential; otherwise it will never work.