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Top10 Dynamic Entrepreneur: Mario Hasanakos and Alex Badran, Spriggy

Entrepreneurs Mario Hasanakos and Alex Badran have revolutionised the ‘piggy bank’ with Spriggy, a banking app for families to encourage children to ‘turn pocket money into practical life lessons’.

Since its launch in November 2016, Spriggy has welcomed more than 200,000 members to its Spriggy family.  The app provides children with a digital piggy bank, which is managed by their parents. Children receive their own app and a prepaid card giving them the opportunity to learn about managing personal finances.

Mario and Alex were both working in the finance industry when their paths crossed and their ideas aligned – “the idea of building a better kind of bank from the ground up.”

“We were always inspired by the idea that technology could help people be self-sufficient and better off.  Our collective experiences within technology, finance and academia triggered a fascination with the intersection of technology, finance and education.  A product that helped improve the issues we saw in finance was appealing, particularly when we had both seen the way the financial services actually operated.”

From this simple idea, Spriggy was born and is revolutionising the way Australian families do their banking, as well as providing a learning experience and encouraging children to become money smart in the future.

Dynamic Business had a chat with Alex and Mario about being named in the Top10; lessons learnt on their entrepreneurial journey and what is new and exciting about Spriggy.

How does it feel to be named one of Dynamic Business’s Top10 Entrepreneurs?
For both of us, to be named jointly as Dynamic Business’ Top10 Entrepreneurs is a great feeling! It’s especially gratifying, because it’s a testament to the hard work of the entire Spriggy team. They bring so much passion and commitment to the work they do every day. We’re lucky to work with such a talented and supportive team and they have played such a huge part in the success that the Spriggy business has enjoyed so far. It’s great to see that recognised.

What are the top three lessons you’ve learnt so far?
1:  Surround yourself with good people that you trust and form a talented team – individuals don’t build great businesses, great teams build great businesses. Trust is the foundation for open and honest communication – it’s important to have people around you that are genuine and to protect these relationships by treating them well.

2:  Keep showing up and keep moving forward. Things never go smoothly or to plan, especially when you first start out. There are always highs and lows along the way and mistakes are going to happen – it comes with trying to do something new and moving fast. Even on the hardest days, just keep at it and keep learning.

3:  Have a purpose and follow through on your word. We’ve had to get pretty creative to build the service we offer, while staying independent and true to our purpose of helping families. Sharing this really strong purpose has built trust with our members, team and investors – making Spriggy what it is today.

What is new and exciting about Spriggy?
We recently celebrated our 200,000th member joining Spriggy and we have around 1,000 new members joining each day – there are no signs of this slowing down.

Our focus for the next 12 months at Spriggy is to continue to invest heavily in product and growth. We’ve got a lot of really exciting new product features coming and that’s a big focus for us in the next year. We’re planning on extending the financial controls available to parents and to continue to deepen engagement beyond parents and kids, to the entire family group. All families are unique, and we are developing a range of solutions to meet the varied goals they have beyond pocket money.

Most importantly, we’re showing that the next generation of Australians that they can develop great money habits without needing to deal directly with a bank. It’s a revolution that is tremendously exciting and we are proud to be one of the few startups spearheading innovation in this space.

What are you currently up to in your business?
We’re only just getting started with Spriggy! It feels like we went from our first family to over 200,000 members overnight, but it’s really just the start of our journey. Spriggy’s families are our biggest fans – they are highly engaged and very vocal in providing feedback, which helps inform us in building the things they need and spread the word for us across the country.

Spriggy has experienced phenomenal growth over the last quarter, which has required the entire team to be all-hands on deck. In response to this strong growth, we have decided to accelerate our capital plans and will be raising our Series A round early this year.

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Rebecca Thacker

Rebecca Thacker

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