A new Finnish startup Scred (short for street credit) is a new community finance tool thet strives to keep friends happy with each other by tracking debts and shared expenses. This is another Finnish online service that has been built from a need of frequent travellers. (Others being Vailoma and Dopplr.)
In their own words:
So say you are spending a weekend together at a cottage. Mike pays for the petrol to wherever you are going, and Lisa pays for the food. Other small expenses pop up along the way, as they tend to do. After the trip is over and you’re finally safe from the mosquitos Scred will work out all the complex shared expenses between participants back and forth and will tell you exactly what each person owes, and who is expecting money. All you need to do is to lie back and relax.
Scred focuses specifically on communities with its concept of ‘pools’ — large or small groups of friends who do things together.
Scred was created by Kristoffer Lawson from a company called Fishpool Creations, who made the first version of the site just for their own internal use. The service was built from the start to handle different currencies and to have a mobile version for travellers on the move.
Scred does what it says and the site seems to function well, but it could use some work on the graphics to make it easier to gather more users. They’ve slapped the word community in their description which is a bit misleading as they are not really trying to build any communities around the pools or give users tools for communication. I also wonder how they are going to build this thing into a real service as it has no obvious business model?
In an email Kristoffer Lawson points out that while they are not building communities, the community aspect is very much present in the pools. They are trying to give a tool for existing communities and they have already attracted some of these mini-communities already.
He is not really eager to give any insight into Scred’s business model, but says they are working on new functionality that will enable monetization. He also notes that they have invested that much of their own money into the service that thy definitely have been thinking about the business model as well.