Date
24 August 2017
Li Ka-shing's venture capital arm is backing Osper, a British firm that aims to educate children on money management. Photos: osper.com; HKEJ
Li Ka-shing's venture capital arm is backing Osper, a British firm that aims to educate children on money management. Photos: osper.com; HKEJ

Li Ka-shing invests in child-focused UK startup

Osper, a UK startup that focuses on educating young children on money management, has received US$10 million in funding from several investors, including an entity owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing.

The British firm, which was founded two-and-half years ago, secured some investment from Horizons Ventures, an early-stage investment company belonging to Li, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

Osper has launched a mobile app and pre-paid cards. Parents can deposit money through the app and then let their children to use the cards for various purchases.

The cards, jointly issued with MasterCard, have no pre-set credit. Annual fee is waived for the first year; a 10-pound (US$17.16) fee per year will be charged afterwards. Youngsters holding the cards can use them in shops to buy things, withdraw cash from ATMs, and make online payment on websites such as iTunes and Amazon.

Meanwhile, the parents can monitor the consumption habits of their children through data shown on the app.

Osper’s founder Alick Varma said the idea is to allow children to make their own decisions on consumption and develop the concept of wealth management from a young age.

A spokesman for Horizons Ventures declined to reveal the stake it bought in Osper or the actual investment, the report said. The official also declined to comment when asked if the service will be introduced in Hong Kong, it said.

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TL/AC/RC

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