Nov 26th 2020

Super Startup Spotlight: Moneybox

SUPERPOWER: Making savings as easy as putting money in a box

From modern healthcare to smart FinTech and everything in between, we recently pulled together a list of the London startups raising the tempo in 2021. The Tempo team researched hundreds of companies, each with their own stand-out superpower. After naming Moneybox number three on our list of the best startups to work for in London, we decided to sit down and chat with Jack Johnstone – HR & Talent Acquisition Lead, to get a proper inside scoop of what makes them a company that should be on every candidate’s watchlist.  

Hi Jack, thanks for talking to us. What makes life at Moneybox so exciting? 

Our mission is so rewarding. We are making a genuine difference in people’s lives. Every day we work together to give people the information and tools they need to save and invest in their future. And all of this happens in an exciting, fast-paced environment that involves everyone getting behind ideas and work together to make them a reality. We have grown so much because of this. When we first started out we offered customers the chance to invest their spare change from daily card purchases into a Stocks & Shares ISA. We now have a range of saving and investing products including Savings Accounts, Lifetimes ISAs and Pensions. 

I would also have to say the people. I hear it time and time again, that every person a new starter interacts with is super friendly and helpful. It’s great to work somewhere where you can have a chat with anyone, regardless of their position. 

It sounds like you have a great team culture. Do you think that plays a big part in the speed you’ve moved at over the last few years?

Definitely, having good cross-team communication is key. Our strong culture largely comes from the fact that we hire against our company values and have people from different teams involved in the interview process. This ensures we have different viewpoints on whether candidates are what we call a “culture add”– candidates who bring something to the table – both professionally and from a team player point of view. It’s this mentality that’s made us a diverse bunch and enabled us to maintain a really transparent and supportive environment.

You touched briefly on values, which was going to be my next question! How did you go about defining your values as a business?

It was really important to us that this was a process based on how people felt in the business, and not decided by our founders or senior management behind closed doors. So we got together and asked everyone what was important to them, what they valued from their colleagues, and what differentiated us from other companies. The four values we came up with were: Action, Learning, Open-minded, and Team. Teamwork is fundamental – putting effort into ensuring teams mix both at work and outside of work.

Very interesting you mentioned learning, what do you have in place to ensure people are learning continuously?

Learning takes all different shapes and sizes. There’s definitely a lot our team has to learn on the job, especially when we launch a new product. We also engage with a number of external providers to make sure we have a formalised learning and development program in place. We are actually currently trialling new tools to allow people to define their own learning pathways. This is in addition to a variety of other learning opportunities such as events, courses, and qualifications that individuals can seek out and receive a budget allocation. 

When you grow as quickly as you have at Moneybox, how do you maintain that close-knit company culture that you clearly have?

It’s always tricky as the company grows. But so long as you hire against your values then you will maintain the core essence of the business. From there it’s just a case of nurturing it. Our dedicated culture committee does this through a range of initiatives and events, such as different clubs, social interactions, or team days out. It’s important to have spaces for activities where people can have fun socialising away from work and get to know each other. 

Our efforts recently have also been focused on diversity and inclusion. Through our new Inclusion Committee, we have launched initiatives such as running all job specs through a gender bias decoder, establishing Slack communities for LGBTQ+, and engaging with a third party to help set up a mentorship scheme for underprivileged young people. This all feeds backs into our team culture of togetherness and inclusivity. 

This all sounds amazing! How have you found adapting all this great stuff to the new challenges of the COVID world?

Going 100% remote overnight was definitely challenging. We realised that increasing the level of communication and interaction across the business was vital.  

To keep that alive we’ve kept our company-wide weekly and monthly meetings in a virtual format, and to recreate those “watercooler” moments and help people mix across teams, we use Slack Donut where people can chat in a relaxed way. t’s important to us that people are fully supported even when working from home, so we have allocated everyone with a “WFH-budget” to ensure a comfortable working environment. We’ve also implemented fun initiatives like monthly contraband presents, virtual parties and Deliveroo credit every Friday. 

When it comes to onboarding we now have a strong process in place to make up for the lack of physical interaction. This includes playing videos of new starters introducing themselves in our monthly meetings so that everyone can get to learn a bit about their new teammates. 

What’s one piece of advice you would give candidates when applying for jobs at companies like Moneybox?

It would be to make sure you understand what the company does. Do your research! Read the blogs, understand the company environment and culture. And ultimately, work out if the job really is for you. 

Thanks very much for your time. It’s been great to get a deeper insight into life at Moneybox. We are excited to see what the future holds. If you want to check out the other top startups to work for then head over here. Otherwise, stay tuned for our next deep dive into one of the top five of our London’s “Top Startups to work for in 2021”.