Last week was incredibly successful for several British FinTechs that closed their funding rounds with impressive results. We also take a look at the latest initiative announced by the UK government.
Weekly FinTech news digest: 13—19 April 2021
RetailTech platform Loyalize raised £250k in pre-seed round
The platform combines payment and loyalty into a single transaction
Loyalize, a white label engagement platform for retailers, revolutionizes how payments and loyalty work together since 2019. The solution allows customers to connect their cards or bank accounts to a loyalty program, without having to use an old-school plastic loyalty card every time to get their rewards. This results in a frictionless payment experience, and gives retailers an integrated overview of customer transaction and engagement data. Loyalize plans to further extend its platform with new features, and closing the pre-seed round with £250k raised will definitely help to achieve this goal. What is more, a larger seed round will most probably take place later this year.
Read more about payment service providers
Lending company Fintern will expand its services after raising £32M
The startup’s goal is to offer more affordable loans for UK consumers
More affordable credit is coming to the UK thanks to the combined power of open banking and artificial intelligence. Having raised a staggering £32M in the latest round, the London-based lending startup plans to grow the team and roll out new services to address the needs of British residents that don’t have access to affordable loans, for example because of the lack of credit history. Fintern CEO Gerald Chappell explained that there are about 15 million people with such problems in the UK, adding that “often the consumers hardest hit are those who have had historical blips in their credit records or, for example, those people who are new to credit or have moved countries.” The secured equity and debt funding comes from several FinTech entrepreneurs and business angels, as well as the Varengold Bank.
Read more about the use cases of AI in InsurTech
Lumio raised £1.1M to fuel an international expansion
The London-based ‘Skyscanner for finance’ wants to enhance its personal finance management app
This British startup says it wants to replace financial advisers with a personal finance management application that “grows your money on autopilot”. The idea behind “Skyscanner for finance” is simple: users need instant access to the best savings and investment products on the market, with the possibility to switch between them with only a few clicks. Lumio delivers exactly that together with a personalised experience and automatic features. With the recent £1.1 million raised from business angels and crowd investors, Lumio is closer than ever to the goal of revolutionising how people manage their finances. The funds will help the team behind Lumio achieve a product-market fit, boost personalisation features, and expand internationally.
Read more about a personal finance management application development
Belfast-based loyalBe closed a $1m funding round
The round was led by Techstart Ventures together with Co-Fund NI and business angels
We weren’t joking when we said that last week was good for British FinTech! There couldn’t be a better proof than yet another closed funding round. This time it’s loyalBe, a loyalty app powered by open banking. Similarly to the Loyalize’s solution mentioned above, loyalBe app allows users to earn loyalty rewards automatically, by simply using their bank card. However, this startup plans to target mostly independent, local merchants in Ireland, to help them increase the loyalty of their customers and attribute customer spending accurately, with no need of integrating with PoS solutions or installing extra equipment.
Read more about open banking applications
Zilch valued at $500 million after raising $80M
The ‘buy now, pay later’ solution served 500,000 customers since launching beta in 2019
Zilch, another UK FinTech, apparently benefits from the BNPL trend. The company not only grew its headcount to 80 in 2020, but also is approaching the impressive number of 500,000 users. The partnerships with Credit Kudos and Monavate are blooming and significantly boost the brand authority. This, obviously, has drawn the attention of numerous investors. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the startup hit a valuation of $500 million after closing a $80 million series B round backed by Gauss Ventures and M&F Fund. The cash will fuel Zilch’s growth in the UK and the upcoming launch in the USA.
Read more about the top buy now, pay later apps
A new FinTech taskforce will study the feasibility of CBDC in the UK
The project will be led by HM Treasury and Bank of England, announced Chancellor Rishi Sunak
We will wrap up this week’s news review with another intriguing update from the United Kingdom. During the opening keynote at the Innovate Finance Global Summit & UK FinTech Week, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak made some interesting announcements, including the creation of a special taskforce led by HM Treasury and Bank of England that will explore the possibility of launching a central bank digital currency. Moreover, a new infrastructure sandbox will be launched for companies working with distributed ledgers. Additionally, a visa system reformation for skilled professionals is coming, as well as the government’s response to the Kalifa Review.
Read more about the conclusions from the Kalifa Review
We keep our finger on the FinTech pulse
Will we witness the creation of the digital pound… or shall we call it Britcoin? We don’t know the answer to that, but we’ll make sure to deliver the updates on the matter in the upcoming issues of FinTech Wire!