Spenderlog connects finance with health

by Megan Roelofs
Posted on June 27, 2019

Buying one extra bag of chips every week or treating yourself to luxury chocolate can be an innocent treat to yourself. But do you actually know how often you buy these products and how much it costs you on an annual basis? Maria Flyvbjerg Bo has co-founded Spenderlog to help people get an insight into the health and financial consequences of their grocery spending.

Unfortunately, despite many efforts, people find it often difficult to reflect on their financial behaviour and get a grip on their spending. This is what co-founder and CEO Camilla Kerlauge also experienced during their former jobs, according to Flyvbjerg: “It was my co-founder who came up with the idea of Spenderlog. She was the VP and Head of Data & Analytics at a commercial bank and observed several customer advisor meetings. In those meetings she saw that consumers too often do not fully grasp what effect everyday spending can have on their bigger financial goals in life. They don’t know what to do when the bank says to cut down 10% of their variable spending. This inspired us to develop a solution that would help create this insight.”

Spenderlog is a mobile app that shows you what you purchased at the supermarket by reading and analysing your receipt. Flyvbjerg: “Spenderlog helps people identify and reduce their spending by analysing your receipts. We fetch the receipts automatically and with use of artificial intelligence the receipts are read and each item categorized. It gives the user an overview of how they spend their money.” In comparison to their competitors, the Spenderlog application is capable of analysing every item on the receipt separately: “People often ask us how Spenderlog is different from the spending overview you get in your online bank. Spenderlog shows how much you spend in the supermarket in total, but the app also shows you how much you spend on for example chocolate, candy or on soda. So far, we haven’t found any other app that shows this level of detail without having to enter every item manually.”

“Consumers too often do not fully grasp what effect everyday spending can have on their bigger financial goals in life.”

Healthy spending
As Spenderlog creates an overview of your bought products at the supermarket, it also creates awareness about the extent to which you buy healthy products: “Grocery spending is not only about financial decision-making, it also shows how you live your life. Besides the focus on financial health, Spenderlog helps you quantify how healthy or unhealthy you live by providing you with an overview.” This feature also has had an impact on the founders’ life: “I thought that I bought much more vegetables than I actually did, so I worked on getting veggies as my number one category. Camilla has cut down on expensive meat when she saw how much she spent on that. We both felt that we were aware of what we bought in the supermarket, but when all the trips to the supermarket were added up, they gave us some insight we didn’t have. All the small purchases we do make up a big impact on our life when it’s added up.”

“Spenderlog is currently fetching digital receipts from +90% of the Danish brick and mortar supermarkets and expanding to online supermarkets as well.”

Your future shopping list
Spenderlog does not only help create insights, it also helps you with future grocery spending. Flyvbjerg explains how they recently introduced the possibility to create goals: “Every user can create a personal goal, such as spending more or less on chocolate, for instance.” The team has also created an automatically generated shopping list. “Approximately, 80% of what we buy is the same every week. Based on that, we can make a shopping list that predicts what you will buy next.” Spenderlog is currently fetching digital receipts from +90% of the Danish brick and mortar supermarkets and expanding to online supermarkets as well. The startup is continuously expanding and adding more supermarkets that the user can automatically fetch their digital receipts from. In the past month they added Lidl and the biggest online supermarket in Denmark as two additional receipt sources.

TFI Growth Track
As a young start-up, founded in 2017, Spenderlog was very enthusiastic that the TFI Growth Track focuses on growing the business: “We liked the set-up of the programme with a lot of focus on developing your company. We got specific tools and expert feedback. Such as experts in technical architecture, user experience and legal issues. In the second part of TFI your company is matched up with a corporation to do a proof of concept, which is very valuable to us.”

The emphasis on adding research-based nudges also contributed to the development of Spenderlog. According to our TFI Research Hub, users are less prone to use an application when they start with an app that does not display their data. Therefore, during the workshop about gamification and nudging, the TFI researchers suggested to the startups to ask their users to upload their personal data during the on boarding process, instead of doing this separately. Spenderlog has also incorporated this nudge in their application: “Before, our users would sign up in the app and then more or less get an empty screen, because they hadn’t uploaded any receipts yet. Now we’re adding a step where the user is prompted to upload their receipts when they’re signing up.”

The future
Although it is a relatively young start-up, Spenderlog has a large ambition: “We’re continuously onboarding more users and our ambition is to expand to other countries, first in Europe and then globally.” Although it might take some time before those ambitions are realized, Flyvbjerg considers Spenderlog to be successful already: “We wake up every day and have fun while working on something meaningful. Most importantly, we are making a difference for our users.”

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