Making it Work

Rewarding shoppers for data puts Unbanx in growth mode

The fintech which unlocks value from consumer data while protecting privacy aims to increase its headcount and add users to its platform in the UK

Unbanx founders Alan McDonald and Gerard McDonald: substantial growth plans for the business. Picture: Deirdre Brennan

Unbanx, an Irish fintech, is working to provide consumers with ways to get paid for the data they provide when making purchases.

Unbanx was founded in 2021 by cousins Alan and Gerard McDonald. It currently has 5 staff and has raised €1.3 million in funding. The business operates fully remotely.

Company Details


Founded by: Alan and Gerard McDonald in 2021

Staff: 5

Funding: €1.3m

“The data about how you spend your money is quite valuable. We allow consumers to create a profile in a mobile app and send their spending data to us. We combine and aggregate that data, then work to create value from it in various ways and revenue share with those consumers,” Alan McDonald told the Business Post.

“It’s a way for consumers to get value from their spending data. Users get points in an app, like a rewards app. Everything is based off their spending data.”

The key selling point for Unbanx is that despite the data itself having value, the business keeps it anonymous so individual user privacy is protected.

“We take all that data and anonymise it. Through that we create datasets and ad audiences. We can identify deals and offers users might like based on their spending habits,” McDonald said.

“The customers are companies that either want consumer spending data or create ad audiences based on that data. This includes business to consumer companies and hedge funds.”

The idea grew out of the McDonalds having a shared interest in passive income generation, essentially money that comes from something that already exists and works for the individual. This in turn led them to examine data dignity, which is the concept that a consumer should be rewarded for data created by them.

“We’re both from technical backgrounds so we built our first version of the product and it grew from there. We started off as a Web3 company but changed that and focused on mobile apps for the general public,” McDonald said.

“We released our first app in the UK in 2023. To date we’ve had 35,000 users create accounts there. From that we are generating revenue and growing it by over 30 per cent monthly. We expect to be profitable by this time next year.”

The business has been supported by Enterprise Ireland and is part of the high potential start-up unit (HPSU).

“The funding from Enterprise Ireland is helpful but the help we have received in terms of developing connections has been invaluable. The Founders Forum that they run has been particularly helpful, in terms of mentoring and creating a network as well,” McDonald said.

The business has substantial growth plans over the next 18 months, with aims to hire seven more staff and rapidly add consumers to the platform in the UK.

“We expect to have over 500,000 users in the UK by the end of 2025. We also want to open up our platform to other companies in the rewards space and hope to move into the business to business side as well,” McDonald said.

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland