Over the last couple of months, we’ve been bringing you interviews with the Emma Finance team. To finish the series, we speak to Antonio – Emma’s CTO and Co-founder.
Hey Antonio! Can you tell us a bit about who you are, and why you started Emma?
Hi everyone! I’m Antonio, co-founder and CTO of Emma.
When I was still in high school, I came across the simple idea that it was possible for anyone to launch something on the internet that lots of people would want to use. I realised this is what I wanted to do as a job.
In order to fulfill this ambition, I thought I had to expose myself to as much diversity and opportunities as possible, therefore I decided to move out of my small hometown near Venice in northern Italy. I started applying to British universities and eventually landed at the University of Manchester, which is where I met my co-founder Edoardo.
We started Emma on the idea that we wanted to help people improve their financial wellbeing and feel better about it, by helping them carefully consider their spending habits and save money on services where people aren’t commonly getting a good deal.
If you could only use 5 words to describe Emma, what would they be?
Friendly, simple, useful, funny, trustworthy.
You’ve created a money management app – that must mean you’re pretty good with your own personal finances? Can you tell us a bit about your own relationship with money & budgeting?
I would not say I always make a good judgment about what I spend my money on, in fact, I think I am the best at coming up with elaborate excuses for spending money on things I don’t really need.
I never had an elaborate spreadsheet where I would log all my purchases and admit that sometimes I’m behind in tagging my transactions in Emma.
I do follow a few simple rules though:
- I always make sure I keep at least 1/4 of my monthly income, so I can set it aside or invest it. I’ve stuck with this rule both in times of high and low income.
- Optimise recurring expenses rather than one-offs
- Consistency > Perfection
Antonio, why do you think Emma has seen so much success?
We hear that Emma is a product that is genuinely useful to people. The problems it helps you solve are shared by a fairly wide population on many different income brackets.
This is just a direct consequence of having a talented and passionate team behind the scenes.
You can get to know the rest of the Emma team a little more by checking out their interviews here.
What’s your favourite feature within Emma?
The Save Money actions are my personal favourite.
I’ve recently moved flat and it was useful to get a new electricity and broadband deal.
Given the current situation, with interest rates being very low, I have also been in the market for a new savings ISA and investment ISA.
Would you rather win £5M tomorrow or £100M in 20 years’ time?
If I was certain that the £100 million would come in 20 years time, I would take that option, but meanwhile find ways to accumulate debt over more debt to live as if I had at least a few millions.
Given that’s an unlikely scenario, I’ll take the £5M tomorrow. Please find my sort code and account number below. Looking forward to receiving your transfer.
Can you give us any insights into the next six months at Emma? Anything exciting that we can expect to see?
Cashback is about to get really serious. We are working hard to give you cashback on some of the most popular merchants we know you already spend money on. It’s basically free money in your pocket.
Lots of improvements on the budgeting side of things are coming too.
And lastly, can you tell me why everyone should be using Emma?
Once you try it, there’s no going back 🙂
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know the Emma Finance team a little more. If you have any questions for Antonio or the Emma Finance team then get in touch!