Inside GoHenry: How the App Makes Money

What Is GoHenry?

GoHenry is an online app and debit card designed to help children from age six to 18 manage their allowances through intuitive budgeting and responsible spending. Launched in 2012, the United Kingdom-based company offers unique parental controls, letting moms and dads individually monitor the debit card transactions for each of their children.

GoHenry, which is available in the U.S. and the U.K., is free for the first month, and then charges a $3.99 monthly fee per child. In 2018, the startup revealed its goal to reach 15% of the addressable market in both countries, which would entail 6.6 million child accounts, valued at over £2 million; the campaign raised over £6 million before the year was over.

Key Takeaways

  • GoHenry is an online app and debit card that lets parents monitor their children’s spending by issuing them prepaid Visa debit cards.
  • Parental controls restrict the places the children may use their debit cards.
  • Children may earn money by completing a pre-determined set of chores.
  • GoHenry is available to consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Understanding GoHenry's Crowdfunding World Record

GoHenry has been highly successful in raising money from its management team and co-founders, as well as from a network of angel investors, including several bigwigs from private and public Internet companies.

The company has also enjoyed major crowdfunding success. It broke an equity crowdfunding world record in 2016, by raising $5.7 million on Crowdcube. In 2018, the company broke yet another record by raising $7.8 million, of which over $4 million came from the platform’s users. By the end of the crowdfunding effort in February 2019, GoHenry had 6,650 investors.

How the App Works

The app's success relies on the parental desire to monitor children's spending habits. Parents can log onto their goHenry account through a mobile app or via the company’s website to observe the transactional histories of the linked prepaid Visa debit cards given to each child. Since only the money on the cards can be spent, there is no risk of incurring debt or triggering overdraft fees.

GoHenry lets parents customize the parameters for each child by establishing weekly spending limits, restricting where the card can be used, and locking and unlocking the cards at will. The built-in budgeting tools let children view their finances in graph formats. They can also earn extra cash by accomplishing a pre-determined list of household chores.

GoHenry's CEO

GoHenry is currently led by CEO Alex Zivoder, a London-based father of two. Before taking the helm of the company three years after its launch, Zivoder held management positions at online education company Lynda.com and served as a senior VP at online travel vendor Expedia Inc.

Robust Revenue Growth

According to organization's Crowdcube profile, GoHenry posted significant revenue growth in recent years. The first year of growth was in 2016 when the organization brought in £6.1 million; in 2020, Go Henry posted over £19 million. At the time of this writing, the company has not announced plans to go public.

Consumer Criticism

On Trustpilot, GoHenry’s average consumer rating is 4-stars (as of Sept. 2022). But the company is not without critics. Out of 2,264 reviews, 17% of customers rated GoHenry’s services as poor or bad. Among the chief complaints were trouble canceling accounts and overcomplicated technology for children.

Challenges Ahead

GoHenry's competitors include U.K.-based Osper and RoosterMoney, and Australia-based Spriggy. But according to Zivoder, goHenry’s biggest challenge has been generating market awareness.

In other words, many people do not realize this service exists. In fact, very few prospective customers even search for such services online.

According to Warren Mead, banking partner at KPMG, wooing new customers is challenging for all small startups in the banking space, explaining, “Just 2% of banking customers switch current accounts each year, while 30% switch their car insurance.”

GoHenry's long-term appeal remains to be seen, but its revenue growth and rising customer base indicate it will likely enjoy profitability over the long haul.

Article Sources
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  1. GoHenry. "Home Page," Select "GoHenry Frequently Asked Questions: How old do you have to be to have a GoHenry card?"

  2. GoHenry. "About Us: Our Story."

  3. GoHenry. "Pricing."

  4. CrowdCube. "GoHenry Ltd Successfully Raised £2,000,000 - Sep. 2018."

  5. Crowdcube. "GoHenry Limited Profile."

  6. GoHenry. "Benefits: For Parents and Kids."

  7. LinkedIn. "Alex Zivoder."

  8. Crowdcube. "GoHenry Ltd. Key Financials."

  9. Trustpilot. "GoHenry U.S."

  10. The Guardian. "GoHenry Pockets £4m for App that Teaches Kids Money-Management."