From SME finance and RegTech solutions to payments and impact retail investment, the 23 startups selected to take part of the second instalment of Tech Nation’s FinTech programme offer a wide range of services.
Tech Nation is a network of UK business initially created by David Cameron during his time as prime minister. The goal of the organization is to bolster Britain’s ability to nurture a thriving tech ecosystem. The FinTech growth programme is part of this push.
The initial programme was launched in 2018 and picked 20 startups out of 100 applicants. “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,” said Mike Jackson, entrepreneur success director at Tech Nation.
“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.”
By being handpicked to take part of the programme, the entrepreneurs behind them will be able to enjoy insight sessions, networking events and a three-day showcase trip to the US, all designed to boost their abilities to succeed. They will begin their journey on October 24.
So let’s take a closer look at the companies selected for the class of 2019. On average, the early-stage scaleups selected for this have so far raised £3.6m in funding, representing a 277% increase from last year’s cohort. Of the ones picked, most of them said the US was their most important market, followed by Germany and Australia.
Moreover, 40% of the startups were located outside of London and 40% had a female co-founder.
9fin is the first startup to have been announced as part of the class. This FinTech enterprise was founded in 2016. It is leveraging artificial intelligence to extract key data and insights from financial documents. What this enables the company to do is to help clients better understand the world’s fixed income financial data, making it easier for income professionals to know what the their next step should be.
Apexx aims to be a global partner for local payments. The London-based FinTech enterprise was founded in 2016. Its platform connects businesses to multiple acquiring banks, APMs, and PSPs. It also optimizes 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. Pledging to be “the last integration you’ll ever need”, it also works as a connection hub for additional payment services. This range includes AI-driven fraud management, reconciliation tools and multi-currency pricing.
Wales-based ANNA Money is a provider of 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 for their work. Startup, which has competing with the likes of Monzo and Starling, made the headlines the headlines earlier in 2019 by issuing a credit cards that miaows like a cat when being used.
Credit Kudos is a credit reference agency that harnesses financial data through open banking. By doing so, it aims to give customers fairer deals.
Duesday is the company behind an app that automatically deals with customers’ recurring bills. The business also assists utilities, leisure clubs and the housing sector with bill collections and loyalty offers.
Fractal Labs is an API-based intelligence platform aiming to empower lenders, PSPs, innovators, insurers and card issuers to better serve SMEs. The London-based business aggregate data used to score risk and provide a targeting engine to enable financial institutions to provide even better services.
Heliocor is a RegTech startup specializing in compliance software. The helps financial services companies onboard, assess, monitor and manage their clients whilst adhering to the letters of the law.
Just like several other startups on this list, HighCastle was founded in 2016. The business has developed a blockchain-based share registrar and investment marketplace.
Car insurance company honcho launched its platform earlier in August 2019 to disrupt the insurance industry. “To be offered a spot on this hugely oversubscribed government-backed programme is big news for us, and affirmation that our brand shows great disruptive potential in the UK and beyond,” said Gavin Sewell, CEO of honcho.
Numerous challenger banks have risen to prominence over the past five years, with the amount of investment injected into these businesses globally totalling to $1.54bn in the first six months of 2019, according to research from FinTech Global.
The next startup that has joined Tech Nation’s list aims to create more, but with a twist. Yorkshire-based incuto has developed a technology platform for credit unions, community banks and lenders, transforming them into community-focused challenger banks. Its goal is to ensure everyone, no matter of their income, have access to affordable, responsible financial services.
Kani Payments has created a reporting and reconciliation platform to uniquely consumes data from a client’s transactional processor, card scheme, bank account and more; transforming these complex streams into tangible outputs. Essentially, it helps businesses get more clarity.
Paid is setting out to put an end to late payments for micro businesses and freelancers. The startup sits comfortably between payers and payees, giving instant cash to contractors once a job has been completed and gets repaid in return from the client.
Paybase offers a one-stop solution for payments, compliance and risk under the roof of one unified API. It is aimed gig economy platforms, FinTech companies and cryptocurrency businesses.
London-based PirmaryBid gives retail investors a chance to bid on newly listed companies at the same discounts as institutions.
Back in June 2018, Molo Finance landed itself a £3.7m seed funding round. The fully-digital mortgage lender designed to make it more transparent and frictionless for people to apply for mortgages.
Smarterly is trying to make it easier for people to invest. 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. The company launched a crowdfunding campaign in August, aiming to achieve investments of £2m.
The gig economy has been a fact for several years. However, so has the stress for those working in it to ensure they get paid evenly throughout the month. That is something SteadyPay has been set up to fix. The socially aware credit service smooths out workers’ income, empowering them to better budget, save and pay for expenses.
North west-based tickr is a socially aware investment platform that gives users a chance to invest in socially responsible companies. Having already received investment from venture capitalists, tickr filled up its coffers further in April by launching a crowdfunding campaign.
Another socially responsibility-led FinTech startup in Tech Nation’s latest batch is Tumelo. This startup provides visibility to socially responsible companies so that investors can more easily find them and give them money.
TradeCore is a London-based enterprise providing other FinTech startups with a platform on which they can more easily create banking and investment products.
Trade Ledger is a digital banking platform that provides banks the chance to assess business lending risk in real time by using machine learning, robotic process automation and.
As Brexit is looming at the door, many sector leaders have expressed concern about the UK being able to maintain its position as a leader in the FinTech space. That is one of the reason why HM Treasure has launched its FinTech Sector Strategy to ensure the industry thrives past Britain’s exodus from the EU. The Tech Nation programme is part of the strategy.
“The UK is a world leader in FinTech, with £4.5bn in funding generated between 2015 and 2018 for our high-tech startups, and no sign of slowing down,” said John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury. “This position is being bolstered further by the increasingly high calibre of companies being accepted onto this year’s Tech Nation FinTech programme.”
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