SME finance app ANNA gets £8.5m funding
SME business account Anna has received an investment of £8.5 million from Kinetik as it prepares to launch new tools and products.
As reported in November 2018, ANNA – “absolutely no nonsense admin” – launched with a debit card that “meows” when the customers use it. Yes, it emitted an actual sound.
ANNA says it fuses artificial intelligence (AI) with human insights. The company’s creation was inspired by a study showing that 90% of small business failures can be attributed to cash flow problems.
In the latest development, the firm says it now has over 3,500 customers. The app combines a current account, debit card and digital assistant that helps with financial admin like sending and chasing invoices.
Anthony Julius, Kinetik’s director, comments: “ANNA is very different from typical fintech start-ups and it’s been created by brave and progressive entrepreneurs.”
According to ANNA, it intends to grow its customer experience centre. In addition, new product features and tools will be unveiled in 2019 to help customers prepare for HMRC’s initiative “Making Tax Digital”. These will involve expenses analysis and cash-flow prediction.
As well as tracking finances, ANNA can send and pay invoices. This is done using email, which the AI can analyse to learn how much users are owed, by whom, and “chasing them (politely) when they’re due”.
Likewise, when users receive an invoice, they can forward the details onto ANNA, which says it will prepare any payment instructions and fill in information like surnames and sort codes so that the payment is ready to be made whenever needed.
The founders of the business are Boris Dyakonov and Eduard Panteleev, CEO. Together, they have already launched a couple of financial companies in Russia since 2005.