- Buzzy UK finance startup Curve quietly hid an investor Q&A from YouTube after Business Insider raised questions about the the company’s user numbers.
- Leaked numbers dated from May revealed that only 14% of Curve card owners regularly use its service, suggesting it is considerably less popular among its customers than challenger banks such as Monzo or Revolut.
- The firm has now removed an hour-long YouTube video in which CEO Shachar Bialick answered investors’ questions as it raised £6 million ($7.7 million) through crowdfunding, from public view. The video is still on YouTube, but set to private.
- Curve allows users to group all their bank cards into a single physical smart card and is one of several new UK players hoping to disrupt how people manage their finances.
- When approached by Business Insider at a conference, Bialick refused to answer any questions before stepping into an elevator.
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Curve, the $200 million UK finance startup that lets users group all their bank cards into a single smart card, has quietly withdrawn information about its recent crowdfunding from public view, after Business Insider obtained leaked data suggesting the company struggles to keep users engaged.
The self-described “Spotify of money” is one of many players in the UK’s red-hot finance startup scene, where a cohort of buzzy challengers have made it their mission to challenge incumbent legacy banks.
Curve, which has been backed by the likes of Santander and Seedcamp, broke records on Crowdcube, an online crowdfunding platform, in September when it raised £6 million ($7.7 million).
But investors began demanding answers after Business Insider revealed last week that only around 14%, or 72,000, of the company’s customers were “monthly active users.”
Curve has never revealed its monthly active user numbers, but has often touted having more than 500,000 customers.
The company has refused to answer direct questions about its numbers, and has now quietly removed or hidden online posts related to its crowdfunding.
That includes an hour-long presentation and Q&A session with its CEO, Shachar Bialick, which was previously publicly available on YouTube. The video was set to private within the last week.
According to one person who said they were at the event and who spoke to Business Insider on the condition of anonymity, Bialick reiterated the company’s claim that its customers spend on average around £1,400 every month using Curve’s card.
When pressed as to whether this headline figure related only to active users or all Curve customers, Bialick said it was the latter. It isn’t clear how that figure, which Curve presents as higher than rival finance startups, aligns with the firm’s low active user numbers.
Bialick is also understood to have spoken on topics such as how Curve makes money, the company’s plans for international expansion, and opportunities for investment in the future.
Elsewhere, a page on Crowdcube containing Curve’s crowdfunding pitch deck has also been taken down.
The startup’s main crowdfunding page, which contains limited financial information, remains online.
But where previously there was a link providing greater detail to prospective investors, readers are now instead redirected to an index of the Crowdcube’s other fundraising campaigns.
Crowdcube said: “It’s a common occurrence for companies to ask that we take down their pitch deck following a successful crowd round. This is for a variety of reasons at each business’ discretion.”
Curve has declined repeated requests for comment.
When Business Insider approached Bialick on Tuesday at a London fintech conference, he refused to answer questions before stepping into an elevator.
Business Insider approached Curve for further comment.