Andres Korin launched baby-budgeting app StorkCard after learning how expensive having children is

StorkCard is a FinTech app designed to help new parents budget for the expenses of having a child. The founder learned the hard way that this can be more costly than you think.

“Focus on the baby, not the bank.” That’s StorkCard’s tagline. The new app launched the other week and is set up to help parents plan their financials around having a child. The app enables parents to plan ahead by simply tapping in their budget and the baby’s due date. Once done, they will have access to a bespoke spending plan that predicts the costs for things like travel, play and feeding.

“StorkCard was born out of the idea that there’s a financial product for most life stages, such as a mortgage for buying a house, a pension for retiring or a student loan for going to university, but there’s nothing for having a child,” Andres Korin, co-founder of StorkCard, tells FinTech Global. “The cost is easily on par with some of these other milestones.”

He found out just how expensive it can be the hard way. When his first child was born, Korin and his wife were unprepared for the toll it would take on them financially. “The biggest shock for us was how expensive early childcare was,” Korin recalls. “On a purely financial level, both of us returning to work full-time just wasn’t worth it. We made ends meet by switching to a part-time schedule and using our savings. That said, we were very fortunate to have enough saved in the first place.”

While they learned from the experience, it was too late. When their second child was born, Korin and his wife knew what they were in for. However, this time around they lacked the financial muscles to do anything about it. Having learned from this lesson, Korin set out to ensure other parents would have an easier time than he did.

But he wasn’t alone. He launched the company together with Bruce Pannaman. “The two of us come from different worlds, one the financial hub of Canary Wharf and the other the hipster heavy land of Silicon Roundabout,” says Korin, hinting at his co-founder’s background working in the London tech scene. Pannaman had previously worked as a data scientist at e-learning companies Memrise and Busuu as well as travel inspiration startup Culture Trip.

“It was a chance encounter,” remembers Korin. “We met at Google Campus during a networking evening. We both shared a passion for social impact technology and had the drive to do something about it. We started working on StorkCard immediately, refining the business plan and thinking of ways to relieve some of the most pressing issues facing parents. Challenges like low pay whilst on paternity leave as well as the extreme cost of childcare.”

Even though they were excited to start, there were many obstacles to tackle. “At the time, it was clear there was a lot of testing and building to be done,” Korin says. “We’ve really enjoyed talking to parents across the country about their experiences and using that feedback to guide how StorkCard evolves. Collaborating with our partners in the parenting space to help refine things has been fulfilling too.”

They financed the first year by finding some angel investors who believed in their concept. “They believed in our core mission, shared our values and knew this problem had to be solved,” Korin recalls. “They have trusted us to be the ones to do it.”

With the support of these backers, the founders began the hard work of getting the company off the ground. “Any entrepreneur will tell you that founding a startup is one of the most intense things you can do, apart from having kids of course,” Korin states. “Over the last year, there’s rarely been a moment that we haven’t thought about, talked about or worked on building StorkCard from the ground up.”

As part of their work, they tried to find out what the best way StorkCard could be set up to help new parents plan with the unexpected costs of having children. “Our research found that young parents having their first child plan a lot for the birth itself and the time leading up to it,” Korin explains. “However, in general, there’s little preparation for the huge expenses that follow afterwards.”

“StorkCard will help new parents see, and plan for in advance, all the child related costs through pregnancy and the first few years of their child’s life. This insight is unique to each person, letting them prioritize what they need to pay for versus what would be nice to have, and providing help in how to accumulate the savings needed to achieve these milestones.”

In early October 2019, the FinTech startup unveiled its app to the world. “Launching StorkCard has been a wonderful experience, a little similar to my own child’s first day at school where they’ve gone out into the big world with everyone else,” Korin says. “We have had some great praise and feedback so far and cannot wait to continue improving the product further by releasing more features.”

But this is only the beginning, according to Korin. “We will soon launch the actual cards to our users and those in the public who are only just finding out about StorkCard,” he says.

The StorkCard is essentially a debit card that leverages artificial intelligence for all baby-related spending. The card will be launched together with Mastercard. It will enable new parents to tap into cashback rewards from family retailers and to set up a joint spending account for baby expenses.

“Planning for the costs of your baby is difficult enough but we want to go a step further by helping parents manage their well-prepared budgets,” Korin concludes. “StorkCard will be the current account for the modern millennial parent with built in technology and tools to help parents focus on the joys of having children, not the costs.”

StorkCard is not the only child-centric FinTech platform to hit the markets in recent years. For instance, the children-focused personal finance platform Dojo closed an undisclosed seed round in February 2018. It is set out to help kids manage their finances through gamification.

In September 2019, Greenlight Financial Technology netted $54m in a Series B round. The company is set up to empower parents to raise financially smart children by giving them a debit card that parents can manage through an app.

That’s essentially also the idea behind Pigzbe, the London-based digital wallet that educates children about money management. It closed an initial coin offering worth $8.85m in November 2018.

Copyright © 2019 FinTech Global

Enjoying the stories?

Subscribe to our daily FinTech newsletter and get the latest industry news & research


The following investor(s) were tagged in this article.