VouchedFor is a startup which lets people find, rate and review financial advisers. Its investors have previously been involved with Zoopla, eBay, Betfair, Ocado and Capital One.
I've been asking CEO and Founder Adam Price about VouchedFor's business model, and his future plans...
In one sentence, what is VouchedFor?
VouchedFor lets people find, rate and review Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs)
What problem(s) does VouchedFor solve?
15m UK adults use a financial adviser, yet only 21% people believe it is easy to find a well-recommended one.
The best advisers often escape the banks and join (or start) small firms. The result is a highly fragmented market with thousands of firms and few known brands.
People rely on word of mouth but - astonishingly - rating and review websites have not yet developed.
What are your immediate goals?
Our service is only as good the volume of IFAs and reviews - so our immediate focus is to keep growing those. We currently have 500 IFAs registered, but we can accept reviews for any UK IFA, and £4 is donated to financial education charity MyBnk each time a review is received.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building VouchedFor?
No one has made review websites work for professional service providers (IFAs, accountants, solicitors etc). Trust is critical - consumers have to have trust in the authenticity of reviews, while IFAs have to be confident their personal reputations won't be unjustly damaged. We've worked hard to build what we think is the most robust review system out there, though we continue to learn and refine it.
How will the company make money?
We have different plans available to IFAs, both free and paid. Whether they pay has no bearing on the content of reviews, but does allow them to have more content and contact options in their profiles.
Who is in your team?
- Adam Price, CEO. Prior to founding VouchedFor, I led the development of Barclays Wealth's Digital Strategy. It was this that took him me to an Econsultancy conference in 2010 (The Future of Digital Marketing) where I first validated the idea with Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley, one of the presenters! The rest is history....
- Andrew Jordan, CTO. Prior to VouchedFor, Andrew spent 10 years at Motability Operations (the UK's largest online car trader), where he developed and grew the Ecommerce platform to annual turnover in excess of £500 Million.
VouchedFor is fortunate to have the support of a great set of angel investors, who between them are associated with success stories including Zoopla, Betfair, Ocado, Adzuna, Capital One and MoneySupermarket.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?
In one year we'd like to have built out VouchedFor to have solid nationwide coverage of well-rated IFAs. With a five-year horizon, we're interested in exploring other categories such as Accountancy and Legal Advice.
Other than VouchedFor, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?
We use Gocardless, Google (everything!), Xero, AnalyticsSEO, SendGrid, Rackspace, Econsultancy(!)
We're inspired by Tripadvisor, Avvo, RatedPeople, Learnvest, Nutmeg, Adzuna.co.uk