It is our great pleasure to announce the new cohort of early-stage scaleups joining the second instalment of Tech Nation’s Fintech growth programme. The programme is delivered as part of HM Treasury’s Fintech Sector Strategy to maintain the UK’s place as a world leader in the sector. After the amazing success of our first Fintech programme, we can’t wait to see how these exciting UK companies grow and progress over the six month sector-specific growth programme. We searched across the whole of the UK for the most promising bridge-stage fintech companies, and called on a selection of some of the brightest and best fintech experts to be on our judging panel, which included Eileen Burbidge, Partner at Passion Capital & Chair of Tech Nation; Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank; and Richard Theo, CEO of Wealthify and Fintech Envoy for Wales. The programme received over 100 applicants.
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said: “The UK is a world leader in fintech, with £4.5 billion in funding generated between 2015 and 2018 for our high-tech startups, and no sign of slowing down. This position is being bolstered further by the increasingly high calibre of companies being accepted onto this year’s Tech Nation Fintech programme. This programme is playing a vital role in supporting our Fintech Sector Strategy, accelerating the development of this already thriving sector and reinforcing our position as an international fintech centre.”
Starting on the 24th of October, the bespoke programme is specifically designed to connect and create opportunities for fintech founders and their executive teams, through a series of in-depth insight sessions, networking events with key stakeholders and a three-day international showcase trip to the US.
Eileen Burbidge, Chair of Tech Nation, HM Treasury’s Special Envoy for Fintech, Chair of the Fintech Delivery Panel and Partner at Passion Capital commented: “The UK has a fantastic leadership position of producing globally renowned fintech companies, by being number one in the world for scaleup investment into fintech firms between 2015 and 2018, attracting an impressive £4.5 billion in total funding. I’m pleased to see another diverse group of companies on this year’s programme, with 40% of companies being based outside the capital.”
The UK is a global leader in fintech, and we are delighted to announce the 23 fintechs of the future, who are contributing to keeping the UK at the cutting-edge of fintech advancement and innovation. The companies will have access to support from the programme partners; CBRE, RSM and Talent Works International, whose expertise and networks are an added benefit of being on the programme.
Mike Jackson, Entrepreneur Success Director, Tech Nation: “Last year’s Tech Nation Fintech growth programme had tremendous success in connecting and creating opportunities for the most promising fintech companies in the UK, and we are hugely excited to replicate this again in 2019. The companies in this year’s cohort have demonstrated significant promise as future fintech leaders, and with the global fintech market expected to be worth nearly £250bn by 2023, they will play a vital role in supporting the UK to remain at the head of the global pack.”
So without further ado, the companies joining Tech Nation Fintech 2.0 are: 9fin, ANNA Money, Apexx Fintech, Credit Kudos, Duesday, Fractal, GoodBox, Heliocor, HighCastle, Honcho Markets, incuto, Kani Payments, Molo, Nivaura, Paid, Paybase, PrimaryBid, Smarterly, SteadyPay, tickr, TradeCore, Trade Ledger and Tumelo.
The stats of our second fintech cohort are impressive. The 23 scaleups have raised an average of £3.6m in funding, representing a 277% increase from last year’s cohort. This rise in average funding raised indicates the growing maturity of the UK’s fintech sector which has skyrocketed over the last year. This view is in line with the findings from the annual state-of-the-nation Tech Nation Report 2019, which revealed that the UK remains number one in the world for scaleup investment into fintech firms, generating £4.5bn in funding between 2015 and 2018. The approximate total revenue across the cohort is £7,160,000, with approximately £82,600,000 funds raised in total.
The companies selected are providing real-world benefits such as driving financial inclusion in the UK, enabling the charity sector, and much more. Their top challenges are: funding, liquidity & investment, sales & customer traction, international expansion, and talent hiring and scaling teams. The US is the most important market to Tech Nation Fintech founders, followed by Germany and Australia. Of the 23 companies, 40% of the companies are based outside of London (compared to 35% last year) and 40% have at least one female co-founder. The cohort covers 9 cities and towns across the UK including Cardiff, Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, Liskeard, London, Manchester and Newcastle.
Jamie Hardesty, North East Entrepreneur Engagement Manager, Tech Nation, said: “It’s a great pleasure to see Paid, Honcho and Kani Payments announced as part of this exciting cohort. Fintech is an incredibly nuanced and fast-evolving area of technology. While the North East is blessed with many service providers operating in the field, far fewer product-based innovators, which are creating and developing their own innovative technologies, exist. However, it is tech startups such as these which have the ability and potential to truly transform the economic prosperity of our region. We hope that by being a part of this exclusive programme, the three North East firms not only survive but thrive, as they look to scale in the future.”
The companies selected provide B2B and B2C products and services across a range of sub-sectors, including most predominantly SME finance, payments, capital markets, as well as retail investing, and consumer credit & lending. The breadth and variety of business propositions exemplifies how pervasive fintech has become in financial services. Examples of the real-world benefits and change being driven by the cohort include driving financial inclusion in the UK, enabling the charity sector, and much more. The sub-sectors represented by the 2019 cohort include:
- SME Finance
- Capital Markets
- Payment infrastructure
- Consumer credit
- Fintech for good
- Impact retail investment
- Retail investing
Our judging panel
Richard Theo, CEO, Wealthify told us: “We were delighted to support Tech Nation’s fintech programme by taking part in the judging process. We were impressed by the high calibre of applications and look forward to seeing these innovative companies break ground in the fintech sector, particularly the company located in Wales.”
We had the great privilege to be joined the following prestigious panel of fintech experts to select our cohort:
- Richard Theo, CEO at Wealthify
- Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Implementation Trustee at Open Banking
- Catherine Wines, Co-founder at World Remit
- Tim Levene, CEO at Augmentum
- James Varga, CEO at The ID Co
- Cathy Lyall, Co-founder at Seismic Foundry
- Samantha Bedford, Head of Innovation & New Ways of Working at CYBG
- Paulette Rowe, Global Head of Payments and Financial Services Partnerships at Facebook
- Simon Taylor, Co-founder and Blockchain Lead at 11:FS
- Al Lukies, CEO at Pollinate International
- Lou Smith, Head of Intelligent Automation at RBS
- Alexandra Frean, Head of Corporate Affairs at Starling Bank
- Greg Michel, previous Head of Sector Programmes at Tech Nation
Andrew Rabbitt, CEO & Co-founder, incuto, Ilkley: “Tech Nation is the leader on awesome initiatives to enable companies to grow and learn through recognised programmes that are adapted to a variety of sectors. incuto is excited to be part of the Tech Nation Fintech programme and hopes to connect to others disrupting financial services.”
Georgia Stewart, Co-founder, Tumelo, Bristol: “Delighted to be joining Tech Nation’s Fintech Programme to collaborate with and be challenged by other founders changing the face of finance with technology.”
Ben Wigham, Product Owner, Kani Payments, Newcastle upon Tyne: “At Kani we’re always looking to learn from others’ experiences, be that other founders, or experts in the field – Tech Nation’s Fintech Programme looks to be a fantastic mix of both. Having been involved in other Tech Nation events prior we have full faith in the team, and after hearing great reviews from scheme alumni we’re excited to get started!”
Full list of Tech Nation Fintech 2.0 companies
9fin – London – @9finHQ
9fin uses artificial intelligence to extract key data & insights from financial documents. They consume, organise and understand the world’s fixed income financial data, making it easier for investment professionals to search, filter and analyse.
Apexx Fintech – London – @APEXX_Global
Apexx is a payment platform that connects enterprise to multiple acquiring banks, APMs, and PSPs as well as optimising the payment flow to drive up payment acceptance and lower costs. APEXX consolidates these providers into a single integration point offering complex merchants the flexibility to operate a payment stack that reflects the needs of their business.
ANNA Money – Wales – @ANNAMoneyUK
ANNA combines a business account and debit card with invoicing and tax reminders. For freelancers and small businesses, it’s ideal for SMEs that use light commercial vehicles (“LCVs”) for their work.
Credit Kudos – London – @creditkudos
Credit Kudos is a newly established Credit Reference Agency helping UK lenders (B2B) make better and faster credit decisions. They use newly available open banking and PSD2 data to increase accuracy, whilst widening the pool of borrowers to those previously excluded by traditional credit scoring methods. Credit Kudos were previously Tech Nation Fintech For All runners up.
Duesday – South West – @getduesday
Duesday has reinvented direct debits and regular bill payments, giving more control and rewards to the payer. They help utilities, leisure clubs and the housing sector with bill collections and loyalty offers and their core payments platform is integrated with the UK and Mexico payments networks.
Fractal Labs – London – @Fractal_Labs
Fractal is an API based intelligence platform focused on Small-Medium-Enterprise (SME) banking. They aggregate permission-based SME data used to score risk, enhance it using AI, and provide a targeting engine for financial institutions to empower them to better service their clients.
GoodBox – North West – @_GoodBox
GoodBox serves the charity sector by providing a single point of entry to a full range of fundraising solutions. From award-winning contactless hardware, to a platform enabling charities to analyse and improve their fundraising, GoodBox provides the third sector with the tools needed to thrive in an ever-changing digital landscape.
Heliocor – London – @HelioDID
Heliocor is a regulatory compliance software business that wants to change the way the world does business; restoring trust. Their tune-able products (AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning enabled) help financial services companies to risk manage, tailor and automate onboarding clients (Dokstor) and then monitor their transactional activity in real time (Robolitics) to ensure regulatory compliance. Helicor were previously Tech Nation Rising Stars finalists.
HighCastle – London – @highcastle_co
HighCastle is a UK blockchain-based share registrar and investment marketplace, which provides the end-to-end technological infrastructure and legal framework for compliant offering, issuance, distribution, management and trading of private securities.
Honcho Markets – North East – @GetHonchoUK
Honcho Markets operates a reverse-auction electronic marketplace for the distribution of financial services products. Product vendors compete in real-time, open and transparent auctions to win a consumers’ business. Honcho charges vendors a nominal fee, removing expensive sales commissions from the distribution chain.
incuto – Yorkshire – @incuto_uk
incuto is a technology platform for credit unions, community banks and lenders, transforming them into community-focused challenger banks. Making ethical lenders relevant, accessible, sustainable and efficient, incuto is tackling the poverty premium by ensuring everyone can gain access to affordable, responsible financial services.
Kani Payments – North East – @KaniPayments Kani Payments has built a fintech reporting and reconciliation platform, which uniquely consumes data from a client’s transactional processor, card scheme, bank account and more; transforming these complex streams into tangible outputs. Users can run 24 distinct reports, including those needed for regulation, as well as create bespoke automated reconciliations. Kani were previously Tech Nation Rising Stars finalists.
Molo Finance – London – @molofinance
Molo is the UK’s first fully-digital mortgage lender. By bringing together a real-time mortgage decisioning engine with an easy online application process designed by and for customers, they deliver a proposition focused on speed, ease and transparency.
Nivaura – London – @nivaura
Nivaura provides digital investment banking solutions that are revolutionising capital markets by optimising efficiency, transparency and accessibility for market intermediaries. Their primary initiative is to defragment and vertically integrate capital markets by automating the issuance, administration and entire life cycle of financial instruments.
Paid – North East – @paidcouk
Paid allows micro businesses to flourish without falling victim to key challenges. Addressing the increase in the gig economy, people working independently and late payment of invoices crippling small companies, Paid have created simple workflows and business management that sits alongside the ability to get paid as soon as work is completed.
Paybase – London – @paybase
Paybase is a flexible payments solution for marketplaces/gig economy platforms, fintechs and cryptocurrency businesses. It combines payments, compliance and risk management, allowing businesses to reach market quickly and seamlessly. Their structured flexibility accommodates a wide array of use cases, enabling businesses to build better, more competitive products.
PrimaryBid – London – @PrimaryBid
PrimaryBid democratises capital markets by allowing retail investors access to new share issues from listed companies at the same discount as institutions.
Smarterly – London – @WeAreSmarterly
Smarterly aims to turn the UK into a nation of investors. By promoting the benefits of healthy savings habits, they make investing simple, easy and accessible for the mass market. Smarterly works with employers to allow people to save directly from their pay, often with a contribution boost as a more accessible complement to pensions.
SteadyPay – London – @SteadyPayHQ
SteadyPay is a socially aware credit service with a vision to provide financial wellness to those paid by the hour/gig. They do this by smoothing out workers’ income, giving them consistency across pay cycles which allows them to budget, save and pay for expenses.
tickr – North West – @my_tickr
tickr is transforming impact investment for Europe’s next generation of investors. For people who want to invest, but want to have a positive impact on society and the environment at the same time, tickr’s app allows users to invest in socially responsible companies with as little as £5. tickr were previously Tech Nation Rising Stars winners.
TradeCore – London – @gotradecore
TradeCore is a platform-as-a-service provider that enables fintechs to build next-generation banking and investment products. TradeCore’s full stack offering does all the heavy lifting, allowing companies to focus on launching unique fintech customer experiences.
Trade Ledger – London – @TradeLedger
Trade Ledger is the world’s first open digital banking platform that gives banks the ability to assess business lending risk in real time. Using Machine Learning, open APIs, Robotic Process Automation and AI, they enable banks to address the global undersupply in trade finance lending, while providing high-growth companies with the working capital needed to sustain growth.
Tumelo – South West – @tumeloHQ
Tumelo gives visibility and influence to investors who want to have positive impact with their money. They create socially responsible investments, provide visibility so investors in funds and pensions can see exactly where their money is going, and help shareholders have influence to create lasting change.