Tech & Tonic: Betting the (Money)Farm on robo-advice, cashless payments for buskers and the rollerskating CEO


Worried about your weight? It's a scientifically proven fact that if you replace your gin with tech, you'll be looking like a king or queen of the catwalk within an afternoon. So, this edition of Tech & Tonic is on us.

Allianz bets the (Money)Farm on robo-advice

One of the oldest debates in the brave new world of fintech concerns the role of automated financial advice – with many claiming computers will never replace humans. But if you thought the robo-advice sector was losing this back-and-forth, MoneyFarm just hit a big fat return with topspin. The firm has just raised £40m in the largest European fundraising round of its kind, according to the Daily Telegraph. Backers include insurance giant Allianz, venture capital firm Endeavor Catalyst and Italian finance firm Fondazione di Sardegna. 

"Song request? House of the Rising Sun, please – and do you accept Visa?"

From taxis and buses to coffee shops and marketplaces, the drive for a cashless society has introduced convenience. But here’s a casualty you might not have previously thought of: the humble street performer. London is to introduce a contactless payment scheme for buskers in what organisers say is a world first. Busk in London, a Mayor of London initiative, has partnered with payments company iZettle to give card readers to performers. More here.

Want to be a fintech CEO? First, you gotta roll with it

The fintech interview of the week has to be Business Insider's fascinating chat with Phoebe Hugh, the 28-year-old CEO and founder of insurance startup Brolly

Hugh got her first job, a paper round, aged 10 and in her teenage years did everything from waitressing on rollerskates to running poker games before a graduate stint at insurance giant Aviva. "I think most of life is about finding problems to solve," Hugh says. "Once you do that you can actually have an impact and add value." Read that interview here.

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