Akoni’s Dynamic Cash Forecasting

Acquiring banking products is a lengthy process of paperwork, taking 30-100 days to process. Businesses shy away from even finding out what opportunities they might be missing , for the simple reason that they don’t have the time to deal with it. With Akoni’s tools, particularly its ability to use powerful innovation on data from multiple sources, the process can be cut down to 1-3 days, or even be dealt with in real time in some cases.

This was exhibited recently at Finovate Europe, 6-9 March London, when Tesobe and the Open Banking Project, chose to include Akoni’s Dynamic Cash Forecasting as part of its demonstration.

This dynamic cash forecast uses data from public and private sources to analyse a company’s cash flow needs on a monthly basis, and produce a forecast for their cash balance needs throughout the year. In reporting the monthly cash requirements of the company, the platform will also highlight any expected cash surplus for a given month.

What do companies do with this surplus cash? Typically, nothing.

It will continue to exist as an unused asset delivering next to nothing in terms of revenue, and given the current inflation rates, it will often depreciate. However, Akoni not only maps out the cash surplus each month but can instantly produce a cash management planner that shows how the spare funds could be allocated to bank accounts that will achieve a real return on the cash. This is all done within the company’s stated governance and compliance requirements.

However, most SMEs and small corporates don’t have the resource or the time to deal with opening multiple new bank accounts and instructing and withdrawing deposits on a regular basis; so how does this help?

The great thing about Akoni’s offering is that it allows the user to open the multiple recommended bank accounts, make deposits and withdrawals, and generally manage their cash without the hassle or paperwork typically required. The cash plan can be put into action with no more paperwork than the single onboarding form that is required at the outset. In terms of the user’s effort, bank accounts and deposits can then be made live with nothing more than a few clicks. The simplicity of the cash management is perfectly illustrated in our short video.

As more and more SMEs continue to onboard with Akoni, we hope to further cut away at the staggering amount of unworked cash that is sitting under their control. With sign-up being for free, and Akoni offering a genuinely hassle free solution, there’s no excuse for delaying another day. Get started now!

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at panel.akonihub.com and follow us on Twitter

A Solution for SMEs to Optimise Cash Holdings: Akoni in an Interview on Fintech Focus TV

Felicia Meyerowitz Singh, CEO & Co-Founder of Akoni, speaks to the Harrington Star about the solutions that Akoni brings to SMEs and small corporates to make managing their cash easier and more beneficial. One of the many pain points Felicia addresses is the huge amount of time that such organisations, who aren’t big enough to qualify for banking corporate treasury functions, must spend managing their cash. The interview discusses the use of AI and data optimisation as Akoni seeks to help busy SMEs maximise their cash with access to new tools and better interest rates. Watch the full interview now!

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at panel.akonihub.com and follow us on Twitter

Can charities look at other areas of their organisation to generate more income?

I’ve spent the best part of the last twenty years working in charities. Most of this time, except for the last three years where I’ve been CEO of a charity (and still am part time), has been focused on fundraising – bringing in money so that each of the charities could further their mission.

I have first-hand experience of how difficult it is to generate income year after year. How challenging it is to think of the next fundraising idea… I still love this challenge. In the past month I’ve started a new job which has opened my eyes to new areas of potential income for charities.

I’ve just started to work at Akoni Hub – this blog post is on the Akoni Hub site so you might have guessed that. Akoni is a fintech business founded by one of the Trustees of the charity where I am also CEO. When I first heard about Akoni’s offering I immediately recognised the huge benefits it could have for the nonprofit sector.

Using Akoni’s innovative, digital cash management platform, charities, and in fact all businesses, can find the best interest rates for their risk and term requirements and spend the extra earnings on things that matter. All at the click of a button – without having to set up multiple bank accounts.

This video sums up the simplicity and the effectiveness of the platform.

So I guess this is fundraising. But it’s a different kind of fundraising – it’s hassle free. It can be planned to your requirements. It utilises resources (cash in bank) which are not bringing in income. It’s guaranteed. Making your cash (think of those reserves in the bank!) work harder for you could be the easiest fundraising in your portfolio.

I’ll be updating this blog regularly over the coming months with news, views and insights. Please feel free to get in touch with me at Stephen.harvey@akonihub.com if you’d like to find out how Akoni Hub can help your nonprofit to maximise your cash.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

 

2017 in Review and Looking Forward to 2018

This is it! The end of 2017 has arrived and what an interesting year it has been, for Akoni, for business and for the country as a whole.

Brexit has been at the forefront of the news for the entire year and we imagine it will continue to be so for 2018. How could it not be? It is a huge change that this country is going through and nobody can tell what the results will bring for the economy and for the individual. Facing the unknown has never been an easy task for humanity and our instinctive reaction is often fear and despair. But like many times before, an uncertain future, involving hardship, has often resulted in greatness and prosperity. We are watching the developments closely, and in particular the decisions made that affect business.

While the majority of predictions about the UK’s prosperity in light of Brexit have been negative, business in the UK has continued to grow with the notorious entrepreneurial spirit of Britain not disappointing.

Below we go into more detail on:

  1. Some interesting and encouraging numbers on the UK economy relating to businesses
  2. An overview of Akoni’s successes this year – we have had an exciting year, which we are eager to tell you all about.
  3. Two focus areas for Akoni: Charities and UK Tech Start-ups
  4. Akoni’s insights for the year ahead

 

  1. 2017 for business:

 Although confidence levels among Britain’s SMEs has suffered amidst the Brexit turmoil, entrepreneurship has not suffered. In 2017 SMEs in the UK accounted for:

  • 51% of all private sector turnover with a total combined turnover of £1.9 trillion
  • 60% of all private sector employment with a total of 16.2 million people employed
  • at least 99.5% of the businesses in major sectors.

Investment in UK PLC has been hampered since the 2016 Brexit vote but that hasn’t stopped the business population in the UK increasing – by 4% since 2016 – reaching a record of 5.7 million private sector businesses early this year. These numbers are published by the government each year in January. In a few weeks the numbers for 2017 will be released and we will likely see a further increase in this regard.

However, we are also seeing that the UK economy has slowed down over the past year, with the International Monetary Fund calling Britain a ‘notable exception’ to an improving global economic outlook.

 Nevertheless, we at Akoni strongly believe that SMEs are significant contributors to the UK economy, as seen in the above figures. Therefore, we will continue to support SMEs and charities as the bedrock of economic growth.

  1. 2017 for Akoni: highlights

 Over the last year as our business has gone from strength to strength so has our team, and as the year draws to a close our number of team members has already doubled. We have a group of talented and motivated individuals, each in their own field, from various backgrounds, contributing valuable resources to the Akoni endeavour.

 

Throughout the year we took part in various events, had the chance to speak and present the Akoni proposition to vast and fantastic audiences, were selected for prestigious industry competitions and have been mentioned in major news publications.

Here are Akoni’s finest moments of 2017:

 

  1. Akoni’s focus areas

As we look to build on the success we have had to date, there have been a few sectors of the business community that we have been focusing on and we wanted to highlight some of our key takeaways for these communities.

  • Tech Start-Ups

At Akoni a key focus for us, along with assisting SMEs, is working with the start-up community to help these new businesses to reach their full potential by utilising their cash reserves. With an increase in co-working spaces (notably WeWorks but also Plexal and Rise London (the latter for the Fintech industry)), accelerator and incubator programmes often in collaboration with large industry corporates (CO:CUBED and HighTech XL to name a couple) and national led initiatives like London & Partners, the UK feels like an exciting place to be starting a new tech venture. And although there have been mixed reviews about the health of the UK economy, we have been particularly encouraged by what we have seen within these various ecosystems, including collaboration between incumbent tech start-ups in various industries.

Given Akoni’s specialism, we are seeing a number of fintechs growing in the UK, with the aim of giving SMEs more control of, either their existing assets (like Akoni), or providing easier access to funding sources (like Funding Circle and Capitalise) to allow the UK SME market to hopefully achieve even better returns than noted above. In addition, these new Fintechs are also providing sources of capital for the start-up industry, beyond typical VC investment.

With all this being said, we are excited for what 2018 holds for all tech start-ups.

  • Charities

2017 has been another year where charities have been in the spotlight. The response by charities and the public in donating to charities, in the wake of incidents at Grenfell Tower and the Manchester Arena bombing, as well emergencies beyond our shores, has shown that the charity sector in the UK is still huge force for good and plays an important role in society.

With that important role comes accountability and the focus in 2017 charity governance remained a hot topic. The continued scrutiny of the role of Trustees, and use of funds raised, together with the release of the Charity Governance Code outlining standards charities, should aim to points for a need and appetite for improved governance.

What is certain – the voluntary sector is a vital cog in the wheel of our economy and improved governance can be seen as a positive moved for the sector.

Brexit is going to have an impact on the charity sector in the UK. Aside from the £250m+ direct funding UK charities receive from the EU, the impact on the economy will likely put a squeeze on public pockets which could make fundraising harder. The value of the pound will also impact on those charities who operate overseas.

GDPR legislation, continued focus on governance and uncertain political times will also impact on the non-profit sector, but collaboration across the sector, innovation in fundraising and communications, and embracing digital technology in all functions of the organisation, are opportunities to be grasped in 2018.

Charities have faced turbulence in the past and have always found ways to raise funds and continue their important work. We look forward to playing a role in this and helping charities to maximise their income.

  1. Looking ahead to 2018

 2018 will be a critical year for the UK economy where we may see one out of three scenarios:

  1. A bespoke agreement with the EU, which will likely see a stronger pound, reduced inflation, employment growth and a return to economic prosperity.
  2. A hard Brexit which would create a difficult scenario because of the uncertainty around it. In this instance, it seems likely that inflation will rise and the pound and economic growth will likely weaken, whilst unemployment rises.
  3. The PM faces a no-confidence vote by the government, leading to an election with the possibility of seeing labour come into power. This would understandably be quite a shock to the economy, at least for the first year of the new government.

Looking at current reports, it seems likely that interest rates will go up in February following the next Bank of England meeting, particularly if inflation remains around 3%. Unemployment will probably remain reasonably low and wage increases won’t be drastic either. When it comes to overall economic growth, the UK will not see as much growth as will be the case for the rest of the world. While we cannot speak about a recession just yet, the UK economy will face one of its most challenging times and the uncertainty around which of the three above mentioned scenarios will unfold, does not assist the economy with getting back to its expected level, that being the 4th or 5th largest economy in the world. But when it comes to economic forecasting they say that there are two types of economists: Those who cannot forecast and those who don’t know that they cannot forecast. In that same spirit, we at Akoni choose to remain positive.

We very much look forward to the events of next year and what possibilities they will open up for us and for business in general. We cannot help but mention Open Banking coming into effect from January 2018 and how this will change the landscape of finance for the better, allowing SMEs to leverage new types of financial services to their advantage. We are full of hope and optimism that next year can be a great one and that this country’s entrepreneurial spirit will catapult us into a fantastic era of innovation.

           

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Neither Akoni or its advisors or officers authorised to make any express or implied representation , warranty or undertaking as to the accuracy or completeness of this update. Furthermore, the writer expresses his /her own opinion and not an investment advice.  

 

Bureau Van Dijk Data Innovation Interview

Akoni partnered with Bureau Van Dijk as their products serve us well at various steps of our business. Our main purpose is to help SMEs maximise returns on their cash deposits, quickly, easily and securely. In order to deliver on this business premise, especially the quickly, easily and securely part, Felicia explains that we turn to several of Bureau Van Dijk’s products.

Watch the video to get the full picture.

 

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Here’s Akoni’s Interview with the Banker

In September, we wrote about our video interview with The Banker.  The Banker, it is part of the Financial Times Group and the interview was held in the Financial Times building.

As promised we give you the video with our CEO Felicia Meyerowitz Singh speaking with Joy Macknight about Akoni. Enjoy, and feel free to contact us if it sparked your interest and you’d like to know more.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Throwback Thursday

Today we fondly remember the great time we had at the Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab.  It was an incredible privilege to be part of the program. We had the opportunity to attend various banking events and present to some of the big banks. The value of this goes beyond having access to events and big banks. Being able to share the work space with some other amazing start-ups was so rewarding when it comes to inspiration and the energy this environment provided us with.

Mostly we are grateful to have had the chance to meet such talented people, that have inspired our creativity and given us insight into their incredible expertise.

We have come a long way since then and have exciting things happening over the next few weeks. Updates will follow so stay tuned!

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Akoni at the Fintech Growth Forum Event by Innovative Finance

On the 19th of September Akoni took part in the inaugural Fintech Growth Forum, an event hosted by Innovative Finance. It was the first of many such events, gathering members of Innovative Finance and the wider Fintech community to create a space for dialogue on a variety of topics and the sharing of experiences in the field.

The event brought together over 400 delegates, more than 20 exhibitors and over 50 speakers. Akoni had a stand at the even as well, exhibiting our Cash Management product to attendees and CEO Felicia Meyerowitz Singh was one of the speakers. She spoke about Akoni’s innovative platform that finally enables SMEs to gain easy access to market information on the best rates for their cash holdings, levelling the playing field with large corporations. This lack of service by traditional banks can finally be fulfilled by technological innovation and the new possibilities that Open Banking offers.

We very much enjoyed catching up with old friends in the business and making new connections that offer new insights. Such events are valuable in terms of networking, finding out about new trends and opportunities for exposure. But they are also a lot of fun and we left feeling inspired and full of energy to keep moving forward.

 

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

SA Chamber of Commerce and Akoni CPD Event 

Financial Management for SMEs

 

Date: 12 October 2017

Time: 8:30-11:00am

Registration and breakfast will be available from 8:30 onwards

Talks will begin at 9:00am ending at 13:00am with an opportunity for networking thereafter

Venue8 Greencoat Place, London SW1P 1PL. Please ask for Akoni on arrival.

To register please email munal@akonihub.com with your details.

Speakers:

1. Sharon Constancon; Genius Minds/SA Chamber of Commerce – FX risk management – how to own, manage and monitor FX risk.

Many SME’s import products or services and those exporting is growing in the goods and services industry.  The UK forex market is busy with brokers but relatively immature at the SME and corporate level in the UK. This is a complex and high risk area of a business and we help explain to you how to manage that risk and what alternatives there are to current actions.

2. Felicia Meyerowitz-Singh; Akoni– Cash Management

Akoni is an online cash management platform system for SMEs, allowing business to maximise their returns on cash deposits. Akoni will talk about cash management in general and then discuss the Akoni platform and how utilising our tools can maximise returns / improve overall business financial management.

3. Paul Surtess & Oliver Cummings; Capitalise – Current lending market and other related trends

Most businesses do not know that there are independent and alternatives to financing options with the high street banks. Capitalise uses in-house technology and data analytics to identify the best financing options available for UK businesses. Capitalise will discuss the current lending market and other related trends.·

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Akoni presenting at the Numa launch event at Google NYC

Akoni provides solutions to increase income to UK businesses by maximising returns on an under-utilised asset – cash. As a corporate and commercial solution, these issues are global problems and challenges for businesses everywhere.
As an early stage startup, Akoni provides a country and currency agnostic platform for corporates and banks, providing increased returns to corporates, personalised to their investment mandate, and benefits to banks to improve affinity to commercial clients.
Akoni is a global proposition and has started early stage planning relating to other markets including having recently been named by BBVA in the Top 10 Fintechs for companies.  While launch and growth may take a number of years, planning and awareness starts much earlier. Particularly important is obtaining support from appropriate advisers and investors who have the relevant specific market and domain expertise. Both technical value-add as well as network contacts are useful at this planning stage. The U.S market is a significant step in this direction due to the size and relative sophistication of the market.
Events, such as presenting at Google NYC for the Numa launch, have a wider audience and provide for these necessary aspects. The audience of both fintech and tech innovators, gives Akoni the right exposure at these early planning stages for future growth markets.
NUMA is an even, that empowers mission driven technology entrepreneurs to solve the global problems of 2030. Akoni is excited to be part of this event and looks forward to many more such opportunities.

 

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter