UCL: UCL startup receives £1.6m to help close gender gap in financial education

The site helps to empower women and non-binary people to improve their financial literacy through tailored modules, educational content and community discussion.

Margot, who graduated in 2019, and Alexia started their business after noticing the different financial conversations their friends were having. Their male friends were more likely to have trading accounts, invest in cryptocurrency and stocks and, most importantly, talk about finance with each other.

However, their female friends usually had their earnings sitting in savings and were noticeably less confident when talking about money. The knock-on effect of this lower financial confidence equates to women losing an estimated £1 million in their lifetimes*. Through Your Juno, the sisters aim to redress this balance.

Co-founder Margot explained: “We were brought up by a single mum who celebrated the need for financial independence from an early age, so we both had a keen interest in finance.

“Women are an underserved group in financial services, which are created for men, by men. And digging into the data, the gender gap stood out loud and clear. 77% of millennial women lack financial confidence and just 46% passed a basic financial literary test. In almost every country, women earn and own less than men.”

Your Juno users can access short video courses led by experts including Selina Flavius, author of ‘Black Girl Finance: Let’s Talk About Money’ and gamified content. The app breaks topics down into segments including budgeting, emergency funds and debt, with each segment including tasks and content.

Since launching, Your Juno has been downloaded more than 10,000 times, primarily by Gen-Z women.

Margot added: “The fact we’ve moved so quickly to grow our business is testament to the huge need and appetite for this among women and non-binary people. We’re thrilled so many of our investors are female, too, as we want Your Juno’s success to go back into the hands of women.”

Working in finance themselves, Margot and Alexia came up with the idea for the platform during the pandemic. They received support and mentorship at the UCL Hatchery startup incubator within BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross.

The team received the £1.6m funding in a seed round led by InReach Ventures to grow the platform globally. The funding has come from a group of predominantly female angel investors. Around 70% of Your Juno’s investors are women and of those, 75% are women of colour. Just 2.2% of funding went to female-led technology companies in 2021**.

Margot added: “It means a lot to us that our investors reflect our users. We’re thrilled to have a strongly female group of investors and advisors who understand our community and can help us in this next stage of growth.”

Your Juno will be using the funding to build new content, scale their team and grow their community around the world.

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement), said: “Congratulations to Your Juno on securing this well-deserved funding. The gender gap in financial education is one that needs to be addressed, and Margot and Alexia are already empowering thousands of women and non-binary people with better tools and information. It’s inspiring to see what is possible, with an unwavering mission and access to UCL’s early-stage startup support.”

Amanda Jones Floyd, investor at InReach Ventures said: “Over the pandemic, Gen-Z became increasingly engaged with personal finance. FinTok has blown up and Gen-Z became a rapidly growing audience for investment and money management platforms. That’s why we jumped at the opportunity to lead the round for Your Juno. Margot and Alexia have an unbridled energy and commitment to make financial education inclusive and accessible for women and marginalised genders. The first year of Your Juno has been huge; we’re excited to see them go from strength to strength in 2022.”

Comments are closed.