Money is a tricky topic even for the most experienced ones. According to our Freelancer Market Study 2020, accounting & finances is among the 10 biggest challenges for self-employed.
Today we have the pleasure to meet Dmitrijs Vitjazevs, CEO of Corgee, an AI driven financial assistant that brings together one’s bank and PayPal accounts, offering freelancers a better control of their finances.
Nice to meet you Dmitrijs. First of all, can you tell us what Corgee is?
In a few words, it is a financial assistant that fits into your pocket. Corgee is built upon highly secure Open Banking technology to provide freelancers with financial experience we wanted to have ourselves back in the time when we worked in the industry.
Corgee helps users to see all the bank and PayPal transactions in one place, does real-time tax estimation, effortless budgeting and provides personalised financial wellbeing tips driven by AI technology – just like a human financial assistant would do.
How did Corgee come into being?
When I used to work as a contractor I tried to get a mortgage, but was not approved by my bank where I had an account for more than 10 years. Strangely enough, my income was at the all-time high and had a good credit history through my credit card payments. This was very frustrating. And in addition to this all the legal stuff, you also need to keep track of taxes and budgeting and there is barely any time left to do actual work. That’s why we developed Corgee to take this pressure off our own shoulders and shoulders of other freelancers.
Make sure you save. If you earn more, save at least 20% of your monthly income. If you earn less, save a little bit, but make sure you save. Once it becomes a habit you will see how your financial situation will gradually improve.Dmitrijs Vitjazevs, CEO of Corgee
Who is Corgee? Who is working behind the scenes?
We are a team of eight people, distributed across the world. Some are based in Barcelona, others in the US, Dubai, London, Indonesia and India. We are all coming from tech backgrounds and used to work on related products before. Now we decided to use our skills to do what matters to us as humans.
Corgee is an app for the self-employed: how do you approach freelancers?
To be honest, at the moment it is word of mouth that drives the most of our user acquisition. Our friends tried the private release of the app and recommended it to their friends and so on. We are very happy with the feedback, so soon will be launching a public version of the app focusing on growth and using marketing strategies we have been working on in the past few months.
The Corgee app is available for free on iOS and Android. Which is your business model? How are you going to monetize it?
That’s true, all the features that we are offering at the moment are free and will stay like that. In the next few months we will be working on adding even more free features around financial wellbeing, education and taxes. After that we plan to add premium products for people who need extra features.
Where do you see Corgee in 5 years? And in10?
Our moonshot is to become a financial super-app for independent workers in the next five years. After that let’s see 🙂
What was the biggest challenge since the birth of Corgee?
From my personal experience I would say hiring as we are constantly looking for people that not only are skilled in what they are doing but also self-driven and share the same vision our mission. So if you are in product, tech or marketing feel free to shoot me a LinkedIn request!
The pandemic has badly affected many sectors of our economy but the freelance workforce seems to have profited from it. How do you see it?
I think it really depends on what you do. I did a lot of interviews with freelancers, while some have made significant progress in their businesses in the past year, others experienced a lot of financial turbulence and feel like they have been let down by their governments and the current financial system.
Finance is one of the biggest challenges for freelancers. Do you have some insider tips for them?
One of the most obvious is to make sure you save. If you earn more, save at least 20% of your monthly income. If you earn less, save a little bit, but make sure you save. Once it becomes a habit you will see how your financial situation will gradually improve.
You know there are a lot of good tips out there but what would really help is to have your own financial assistant, like high-net-worth people do, who would look at your particular circumstances and provide personalised guidance and reminders. That’s what Corgee does, for free. So to get the most, sign up for our public release 🙂
Dmitrijs Vitjazevs started his career in the legal industry and worked in London for the first couple of years. Later he got inspired by the developments in the fintech industry and worked in several investment and tech companies in China and the UK. Dmitrijs loves sports, gaming and all kinds of outdoor activities.