Pocketsmith: Advanced personal financial management

PocketSmith - Smart Personal Finance Software

While banks are increasingly offering tools to help you manage your finances, and Mint.com offers those services for free, there is a gap in the market for people looking for a higher quality way to manage their money. Pocketsmith has been around for a few years now, and has carved out a space in the global market with their ability to help customers for forecasting using a familiar calendar interface. While their major competitor, Mint.com, is free, Pocketsmith is attracting former Mint customers and others who are willing to pay for their advanced features.

Pocketsmith have spent a huge amount of time and thinking on how to make decision making based on future events easy.

Founders James Wigglesworth and Jason Leong (and  Francois Bondiguel who departed early last year), have been around the traps on this one, but it wasn’t about a year ago that they cracked the formula, with a new release. The team were perhaps guilty earlier of focussing on the more fun and advanced features of Pocketsmith over some of he less cool but necessary basics. That’s changed, and they are quickly filling out some of the missing pieces. I expect they will see an acceleration of change over the next year or two.

Since last year they have had a lovely organic growth curve of paid customers, and recently passed the 1100 paid customer mark (and tens of thousands of unpaid). It’s still early days, but by understanding customer needs and doing continuous improvement to the product the word of mouth effect, along with a few advertisements, we will keep it going.

Yes “we” – I recently invested in Pocketsmith, joining James and Jason on the board. I’m very excited about working with the team, and am getting a strange yet familiar sense of joy from watching that familiar curve grow. Meanwhile customers can watch their finances grow, using pretty charts like this:

And the development plan for the next few months is very exciting. It’s free to try, cheap if you want bank feeds (they cost us money), so why not give Pocketsmith a whirl?

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
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5 Responses to Pocketsmith: Advanced personal financial management

  1. @CJ_NZ says:

    How does Pocketsmith compare from a usability and features perspective to Xero personal? I think it is a bit more expensive (Xero hids the price but is $5pm from memory).

    Mint’s (and Wave’s) business model was to provide offers on which it got a commission. Given the huge amount of data Pocketsmith must have, is that a future direction.

  2. Jason Leong says:

    Thanks for the interest! We give our users a strong focus on cashflow projection, coupled with the flexibility to structure their finances in the manner that suits them best. As such, we’re probably not as easy to use out of the box as Xero Personal – however we’re working on an update that’ll shortly make PocketSmith simpler and more intuitive to use.

    It’s unlikely that we’ll do offers for commissions for a number of reasons. We’re careful with our users’ privacy, and the subscription model means we can provide an experience uninterrupted by promotions. There will be opportunities to use the aggregated information to help our users budget better though, and we’ll no doubt examine them more closely as we grow :-)

  3. Joshua Vial says:

    That is awesome news, glad to hear it is going well for the guys and that you have teamed up with them

  4. As a brand new user to Pocketbook Premium I am finding some of the more arbitrary restrictions enough to put me off – my search for alternatives brought me here.

    10 accounts is not very many for a couple with ISAs, current accounts, credit cards etc.. My IF.com account also has “buckets” which are each considered a separate account by pocket smith.

    The 60 month history seems a lot but not when you are trying to represent ISAs as individual line items in a “dummy account” to stay below the silly 10 account limit described above.

    The old help wiki has a broken link to the new help page

    On a positive note when I contacted support initially ( Carly ) they were very helpful.

    I already feel that $60 is a lot so going super is not an option. The limits above will not push me to spend another $60, they will push me to leave.

    I was and worried surprised when I read 1,100 paid users. Maybe you could reconsider these restrictions and encourage more users. For example why not allow 10 automatic feed accounts and 10 manual accounts for static things like ISAs.

    Just my feed back. Thanks,

    Sean

    • Lance Wiggs says:

      Thanks Sean – I’ve passed this on. We have to restrict the features for non-super accounts as this is a low margin business given the costs to provide the bank feeds, and the cost of the small yet awesome team. We are conscious that customers look hard at the value for money proposition, especially given the service we are providing, and intend to at least review the details in the next few months.

      We are close to double that amount of paid users now and growing strongly, essentially all through word of mouth. As mentioned above we don’t have much scope to lower prices, and trying to make it up on volume would mean spending lots of money on marketing, which in turn makes it harder to ensure that we have a sustainable business. For now we are steadily building the number of customers using Pocketsmith through focussing on increasing the quality of the product.

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