2014 Demo Day startup profiles: Glassjar

A software platform aiming to revolutionise the pesky task of managing shared expenses, Glassjar is the application everyone needs. Targeted initially at shared accommodation, the tool allows complete transparency of finances, automatically highlighting spending trends and current debts on a dashboard.

“Within each flat there’s always one person who has this job. If they don’t use a solution like us, their job sucks,” says founder and CEO George Smith. Originating in a Christchurch flat shared by seven guys, the application came out of a real world budgeting mess. “It sucked. Duncan Keall (co-founder) was really good at programming and also the most responsible guy in our flat so we made him do the finances. He hated it so he wrote the programme and we teamed up to advertise it.” 

Glassjar is a first in terms of the level of automation, making it the easiest protection against costly overdrafts, missed rent, overdue bills and dodging flatmates. Smith believes their biggest competitor is apathy. “People just can’t be bothered managing costs on things like an Excel spreadsheet. Nobody else is incorporating bank account data in the same way that we are.” 

With visions of expanding to a smartphone app, the team must first go through the taxing process of importing CSV files from user’s online banking. Once this data is in the software, users will be able to enjoy a full mobile experience. Glassjar have also found getting awareness to the right people tough. “You could advertise to five people but if you don’t get the one person who’s got the pain of paying the bills, it’s quite hard,” George says. 

To learn more about Lightning Lab’s Demo Day and see other startups involved in the programme, go here.

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