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UWE law grad is the fourth ‘coolest’ person in FinTech right now

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Budding entrepreneur secured £200,000 in funding to produce student finance app

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A University of the West of England (UWE) law graduate who secured over £200,000 in financial backing to create his own start-up has been named the fourth “coolest” person in FinTech.

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, a new market known as FinTech — or financial technology — emerged on the scene. Entrepreneurs with fresh and innovative ideas began developing new ways in which financial services could be delivered to the market. And Ollie Purdue, at just 22, appears to be one of the best.

Purdue, who graduated in 2014 having secured a 2:1 in law from UWE, created a money management app specifically for students. The app (pictured below), called Loot Bank, is synched to a pre-paid card that helps cash-strapped students accurately track their outgoings.

UK Business Insider
UK Business Insider

With no interest in joining the thousands of law students in pursing a training contract, Purdue — shortly after completing his law degree — took his app idea to a group of potential investors, one of which was Nick Wheeler, founder of shirtmaker Charles Tyrwhitt.

Thanks to Wheeler and seven City banks, Purdue managed to secure over £200,000 in backing. Now, in recognition of the 22 year-old’s success, technology news website UK Business Insider has placed Purdue fourth in their “40 coolest people in UK FinTech”. Seeing off tech-entrepreneurs who have secured investments into the millions, Purdue is one of the youngest people to feature on the list.

According to the site, the law graduate — who worked as an Apple “specialist” throughout his time at uni — is now in discussion with RBS over a possible partnership. With a further £1 million worth of funding in the pipeline, Purdue said:

Bigger banks, slower banks, they don’t make any money out of students and they don’t want to make a competing brand against us. It’s much cheaper for a bank to try and work with us than compete with us.

And as the FinTech market continues to grow a new and exciting practice area for City lawyers begins to emerge. Speaking to Legal Cheek last month, Norton Rose Fulbright of counsel Victoria Birch revealed how she had witnessed an explosion of interest in FinTech over the past few years. She said:

Demand for specific expertise in this area has been very strong over the last 12 months and there is little sign of this demand abating in the near future.

Speaking at SmarTech 2016 — an event put on by BPP’s SmarTech Society — Slaughter and May associate James Mead echoed Birch’s sentiments but explained how the challenge for lawyers was applying existing law to this fast-moving sector. He told those gathered at the event earlier this year:

It’s a mix of financial services law, regulatory law and IP — and through understanding the clients’ businesses we are figuring out how this existing legal framework applies to some very new questions. In this we are being supported by the government and regulators who are keen to promote London as a global fintech centre.