20 of the UK’s most exciting fintech companies join inaugural Tech Nation Fintech programme

Tech Nation, September 6, 2018 7 min read

We are very excited to present the 20 early-stage companies that will make up the first ever Tech Nation Fintech programme cohort.

We’ve been searching far and wide for the most promising fintech startups in the UK, the global home of fintech. After nearly 100 applications, and intense deliberation by our expert judging panel, we can finally announce the 20 companies joining our inaugural sector-specific programme, Tech Nation Fintech.

Tech Nation Fintech is a five-month growth programme for ‘bridge-stage’ B2B and B2B2C UK fintech startups. We’ve tightly targeted our growth programme for companies who have raised Seed funding, have recently raised Series A, or have annual revenues of no more than £1.5m if bootstrapped.

The companies selected offer innovation right across the financial services sector, with services offered including:

  • Leading edge payment solutions
  • Innovative ways to promote financial inclusion and fair access to financial services
  • Services only made possible by Open Banking
  • New capital and digital tools for SMEs – the lifeblood of the UK’s economy
  • Companies that tackle the complex problems posed by increasing regulation in financial services
  • Ventures that apply Artificial Intelligence for example to augment traders’ decision-making and efficiency
  • A company that is working to fight against money laundering in cryptocurrencies.

The cohort

So without further ado, the companies joining Tech Nation Fintech 1.0 are:

Airtime Rewards, Akoni, AltFi Data (rebranded to Brismo in Nov 2018), Coinfirm, CoInvestor, CreditLadder, Delio, Enforcd, Fiskl, Float, Funding Options, LOQBOX, Maxatta, MishiPay, SteelEye, Sustainably, Tail Offers, TAINA Technology, Thyngs, TransFICC. 🎉

Richard Theo, CEO,  Wealthify and one of the judges for the Fintech programme, said of the cohort:

“The applications to the Tech Nation Fintech programme where quite fantastic but the six million dollar question is whether there’s a future unicorn lurking within the 20 companies. Given the great range of ideas, the strengths of the teams and the support they can now get – there’s a really good chance that there’s one in there.”

Regional representation

The variety and excellence of the selected companies is testimony to the strength and vigorous growth of the UK’s fintech sector, which last year saw £2 billion raised by fintech firms in the UK, double the amount raised in each of the previous three years.

While London is the fintech capital of the world, we’re delighted that seven of the 20 companies are based outside London, with their offices in Norwich, Edinburgh (2), Cardiff, Canterbury, Manchester and Bristol.

Gregoire Michel, the Tech Nation Fintech programme lead, said:

“When we devised Tech Nation’s first fintech programme we anticipated that entrepreneurs were increasingly building great companies in the regions. The number of applications we received from the regions bore out this hypothesis and while London remains the most important fintech cluster in the UK we are delighted that more than a third of the first cohort will come from outside London.”

Louise Smith, fintech envoy for Scotland and head of design in personal and business banking at RBS, added:

“I’m thrilled to see two Edinburgh startups have been chosen to join the first ever Tech Nation Fintech Programme. After London, Scotland turns out the most fintech related graduates in the UK – 12% of the annual pool of 97,000 graduates. Fast-growing fintech startups like Float and Sustainably will make sure that Edinburgh continues to be a thriving financial centre for decades to come.”

Chris Sier, HMT Fintech envoy for the North and Professor at Leeds University, said:

“I’m delighted to see Airtime Rewards, who are based in the North in Manchester, selected for the first ever Tech Nation Fintech Programme. The financial services sector already has important hubs in the North’s biggest cities and Airtime Rewards demonstrates that you can build a great fintech business in the North of England where there are plenty of skilled tech people coming out of colleges and universities.”

The average age of the fintech companies chosen to join the programme is three years old. Just over half (12) are business-to-business startups, while four are B2B2C and four are hybrid B2B/B2B2C companies. 40% of the cohort have a female founder or co-founder. 

The programme

Over the five months, the cohort will get the chance to work with and learn from some of the most talented fintech entrepreneurs in the UK, including those who have taken part in other Tech Nation growth programmes such as Future Fifty, on key topics such as scaling challenges, partnerships with incumbents, regulations and international expansion. Some of these Fintech Peers joining the sessions will include:

  • Wendy Jephson, Nasdaq, Sybenetix
  • Stephen Lemon, Currencycloud
  • Sophie Hossack, Receipt Bank
  • Rishi Khosla, OakNorth Bank
  • Radboud Vlaar, Fintech Capital
  • Justin Basini, ClearScore
  • Jon Bradford, Motive Partners
  • James Crowley, FundApps
  • Chris Hill, Kemp Little
  • Sophie Theen, 11:FS
  • Justin Fitzpatrick, DueDil

The insight sessions will take place in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds to encourage cross-country networking. And the programme culminates in trip to US to help companies establish a network of potential investors and partners.

The UK boasts 788 fintech companies, dwarfing the combined total of 441 of France and Germany, and fintech is high on the government’s agenda. The Tech Nation Fintech programme is one of the key measures announced by HM Treasury in its Fintech Sector Strategy earlier in the year, to support the development of the sector at a national level.

John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said:

“Our vibrant fintech sector continues to go from strength to strength, and it’s no wonder that UK fintech has received more investment so far this year than US fintech. I’m thrilled to see Tech Nation’s fintech programme launch with such a strong cohort of dynamic young companies – I have no doubt they’re destined for amazing things.”

Eileen Burbidge, Chair of Tech Nation, HM Treasury’s Special Envoy for Fintech, Chair of the Fintech Delivery Panel and Partner at Passion Capital, who was one of the judges for the programme, said:

“The UK is an acknowledged world leader in fintech but having this programme, endorsed by HM Treasury, will help the UK to further accelerate the development of the sector. The calibre of applications for the Tech Nation Fintech programme was incredibly impressive with a wide breadth of business models. The companies chosen have already demonstrated that they are winners and will certainly have many more successes to come.”

Fintech supporters

The Tech Nation Fintech programme is made possible with the help and support of our programme partners. A big thank you to Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Burges Salmon and Buckley Sandler.

Some stats

Average funding raised: £1,096,650

Average revenues per year: £260,406

Average company age: 3 years

Average number of users: 6,640

Regional representation: Seven companies from outside London, including two in Scotland, one in Wales

% of companies with female founder/co-founder: 40%

Full list of Tech Nation Fintech 1.0 companies

Airtime Rewards – Manchester

A mobile technology business in the consumer loyalty and rewards sector. Retailers use Airtime Rewards to incentivise, reward and digitally connect to 89m consumers via their smartphone.

Akoni – London

A cash management solution for SMEs.

AltFi Data (rebranded to Brismo in Nov 2018) – London

Collates data to provide reliable like-for-like metrics for lenders.

Coinfirm – London

Coinfirm develops a verification and compliance platform for blockchain. It provides valuable insight into entities and transactions, allowing for the institutional adoption of blockchain and digital currencies.

CoInvestor – Canterbury

CoInvestor provides technology solutions for wealth managers, independent financial advisers and fund managers to manage alternative asset investments, from EIS and VCTs through to private equity and yield products.

CreditLadder – London

Payments platform that utilises open banking APIs to revolutionise and optimise direct debit payment tracking. CreditLadder’s technology allows renters to have their rent payment tracked, giving them the opportunity to improve their credit score while they rent.

Delio – Cardiff

Delio provides white labelled technology to financial institutions to enable them to securely connect their clients with private market investments.

Enforcd – London

A global regulatory intelligence platform that enables firms to horizon scan, keep up-to-date with regulatory developments and improve their compliance culture.

Fiskl – London

A mobile-first, automated SaaS solution for small businesses of 1 – 10 employees that allows them to manage their daily finances from anywhere (iOS, Android and web). It offers a mix of daily financial management, productivity and staff management tools as well as relevant integrations.

Float – Edinburgh

Provides cash flow forecasts to businesses using Xero, Quickbooks Online or FreeAgent. Float can give a ‘real’ picture of where a business is going in the short to medium term.

Funding Options – London

A one-stop-shop for SME finance solutions, Funding Options is a comparative marketplace giving information and access to known and alternative finance lenders.

LOQBOX – Bristol

LOQBOX fixes financial exclusion by providing an opportunity for users to build their credit history while saving. Users commit to save between £20 – £500 per month for a year. After that period the cash is paid into a new savings account with a partner bank.

Maxatta – London

Maxatta is automating trading desks, through Artificial Intelligence and robot process automation, so that traders can focus on risk management and trading opportunities.

MishiPay – London

MishiPay is an app that allows retailers to let shoppers scan, pay and leave with their goods without having to queue.

SteelEye – London

SteelEye is a regulatory compliance technology and data analytics firm that offers transaction reporting, record keeping, trade reconstruction, best execution and data insight in one comprehensive solution.

Sustainably – Edinburgh

Micro-payments platform for charity donations. Sustainably rounds up customer’s cashless transactions and donates their spare change to causes they care about automatically every time they shop.

Tail Offers – London

Tail uses open banking data to improve and inform consumer choices. As soon as a customer uses the Tail app to claim a discount, their bank informs Tail of the transaction in order to seamlessly provide instant cashback.

TAINA Technology – London

Automating regulatory compliance for financial institutions, Taina’s software removes the need for manual effort and multiple systems, leading to lower costs.

Thyngs – Norwich

Thyngs is creating software solutions to connect the physical and digital world, such as cashless donations through mobile apps, connected payments and customer loyalty solutions.

TransFICC – London

TransFICC is an etrading technology company providing solutions for the fixed income and derivatives markets.

Fintech, Early Stage, Mid Stage