Five questions for… Barney Hussey-Yeo, founder and CEO of Cleo

Cleo smartphone app
Cleo: have a chat with your money

What does your business do?

Cleo is a free artificial-intelligence financial assistant that helps 150,000 people manage their money every day. She makes money simple, putting people back in control with instant, personalised and intelligent information, given in a way that makes them want to engage with their finances.

Cleo sits above your bank accounts and credit cards, aggregating them into a single interface. You chat to Cleo in Facebook Messenger, creating a personal relationship between you and your money, in a way that feels like talking to a friend.

What’s been your greatest achievement?

We recently hit 150,000 users, and launched in America last month. It’s been a fantastic start to the year, with much more to come. The real motivation for us is to be able to help increase the numbers of people developing a lasting relationship with their money. People tell us all the time about how Cleo has helped them save for a house deposit or get out of an overdraft that had dogged them for years. The product is making a real and lasting difference to people’s lives – that’s what we work for every day.

What are your plans for the future?

We’re excited to keep growing the team as we expand. We’ll keep exploring the best ways to help people save, budget, and make the most of their money, testing and improving existing features and building new capabilities.

What’s the one piece of advice you‘d give fellow entrepreneurs?

Be ambitious. Listen to your users and focus on creating the best possible product. It is also essential to remain authentic in terms of what you set out to do. You’ve got to believe in the mission: it should drive you forward. Remaining committed
to your goal will enable you to make something big and exciting that really works.