After Wisam Dakka and André Madeira left Snap in 2018, the two longtime product developers and coders cast about for a new app to build.
Looking around they realized there was no financial product that spoke to the generation of consumers they’d spent the last bit of their professional lives working to build for, so they decided it would be their next project.
“Our insight is that an individual’s relationship with money is a delicate and an emotional one. Most financial apps are not adopted by the masses because they are strict, lack empathy, and are unconsciously perceived as judgmental, which is why they are often downloaded and then ignored,” said Madeira, in a statement.
Their solution, launching today, is Meemo.
It’s a combination of a personal financial monitoring, rewards and gifting, and social shopping app all rolled into one.
“One of the things we learned at Snap, if you want to reach the masses you need to change how you create an app. It has to be effortlessly,” said Madeira. “It has to be automatic and social as well so we want to build an app that is all of that combined.”
Once a user downloads Meemo and connects their main bank account or credit card to the app, Meemo will give that person insights into their spending history and potential rewards.
For most users, the initial experience will be through a gift card. Gifting, it turns out is what Dakka and Madeira think will be the secret sauce for the company’s growth (although getting people to use something if they’re being given money or free stuff is hardly rocket science).
There’s also the social element, which the two men think will be a draw as well. Meemo provides recommendations and social validation from friends by harvesting their buying history and sharing it with you.
Once a user downloads Meemo and has the history of their transactions, the app will surface the places where users spend the most money. They can then send gift cards to their friends for their favorite restaurants. The goal, eventually, is to get restaurants to subsidize the gifting portion and have their shoppers act as a direct marketing channel.
Shops won’t be able to see who’s getting the gifts until they come into the store. What Meemo hopes to do is gather a profile of a user’s shopping behavior based on their purchases and offer them discounts to places that they may not frequent as often, but match their consumer profile.
Backing the company are investors including Saama Capital, Greycroft, monashees and Sierra Ventures, along with individual investors Amit Singhal, Hans Tung and serial entrepreneurs and the co-founders’ colleagues from Google and Snap.
Madeira and Dakka first met working on Google Search and went on to found Snap’s San Francisco office. The team is rounded out by long-time friends like Robson Araújo and Ranveer Kunal.
“We are very excited to back Dakka and Madeira in their creation of a new age finance app at Meemo that will combine improved financial management with deeper social engagement for today’s generation,” said Ash Lilani, managing partner at Saama Capital, in a statement. “With Dakka and Madeira’s past experience of assembling talented teams and building viral products, we believe Meemo has an opportunity to become a leader in this space.”