31 companies join Tech Nation’s Fintech programme as UK leads fintech in Europe
Tech Nation has announced the 31 tech companies that have been selected to join the Fintech Cohort 3.0, in conjunction with revealing new data that shows the UK is leading fintech in Europe.
The cohort includes companies from across the fintech sector; operating in areas such as: insurance, regtech, open banking and digital ID. This year’s cohort features a high proportion of insurtechs, at 20%; with this being the first year that insurtech companies qualified for the programme. It reflects the strong growth of insurtech as a sub-segment of fintech in recent years.
Sixty percent of companies joining the programme are from outside of London, highlighting the strength of fintech hubs across the UK and the maturity of the fintech sector outside of traditional financial services centres.
Companies joining the programme are based in: Sheffield, Belfast, Edinburgh, Colchester, Bracknell, Manchester, London, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Bournemouth, Newport, Norwich, Glasgow, Guildford, and Nottingham. On average the companies have raised £3.3m and employ 18 people.
With the UK's historic strength in financial services, combined with world-leading policy and regulation in the space, such as Open Banking, the FCA Fintech Sandbox, and the new Fintech Pledge, it is hoped that these companies will contribute to building a world-renowned fintech powerhouse in the UK.
New data reveals that the UK continues to lead Europe for fintech VC investment. This year, $2.5bn has been invested in UK fintech companies so far, with investment levels peaking in July 2020 ($1bn). By comparison, German fintechs have raised $1.09bn and Swedish fintechs have raised $1.06bn this year to date. The UK also leads Europe for fintech unicorns, with 22 fintech unicorns, compared to 6 in the Netherlands, 4 in Sweden, 3 in France and 3 in Germany.
Liam Gray, Fintech Lead, Tech Nation commented: "The UK fintech ecosystem is truly world leading and its strength is clearly demonstrated by the calibre of companies on this year's Tech Nation Fintech programme. Our third cohort will officially introduce insurtechs to the programme, a sub-segment of fintech that has matured significantly in recent years. This cohort will also be the most geographically diverse group of fintechs we've ever had, with 60% located outside of London, highlighting the growing prevalence of regional fintech hubs."
Tech Nation received 143 applications for the programme, the most ever received and up by almost 20% from last year. Judges, mentors and advisors include many of the leading figures in the fintech sector. Catherine Wines, Co-founder, WorldRemit, Richard Theo, Founder and CEO, Wealthify and Lou Smith, CDO, Lloyd’s. Tech Nation’s fintech programme has supported many of the UK’s leading fintech companies, including Kani, Credit Kudos, Funding Options, Sustainably, Good Box and Primary Bid.
Tech Nation is privileged to have Wilson Sonsini, Buckley and CBRE partnering on the Fintech 3.0 programme. Their experience and knowledge working alongside scaling companies will be invaluable for providing insight on international expansion, virtual banking and property management throughout the programme.
Fintech Cohort 3.0:
Auto Service Finance, Sheffield, Yorkshire - Lending
No one wants to be hit with costly, out-of-the-blue car repairs. Auto Service Finance (ASF) is offering a better way to pay for car repairs and accessories by allowing customers to spread the cost of their repairs over manageable monthly payments, completely interest free. Revenue is made by charging a small transaction fee to the dealership. ASF has exclusive long term partnerships with JLR, VWG (this includes Audi, Skoda, Seat and VW) and Ford, as well as every other manufacturer.
Automated Intelligence, Belfast, Northern Ireland - Regtech
Financial organisations are mandated by stringent regulatory standards to prove compliance, and failure to comply can result in reputational damage and financial loss. Automated Intelligence provides highly regulated firms with data insight, risk identification and compliance reporting, covering both analysis and discovery, as well as governance, policy execution and reporting.
Aveni, Edinburgh, Scotland - Wealth
Aveni assists and enhances client interactions for the Financial Services industry through a unique pipeline of Natural Language Processing (NLP). Their proprietary NLP engine automates processes direct from the customer's voice. In practice, this includes risk monitoring, analysis of customer needs, performance management of staff and CRM population. Aveni believes that transitioning 2nd line support functions to the point of sale or service will be a game changer for cost to serve in large financial institutions.
Balkerne, Colchester, East of England - Insurance
Managing risk is difficult, as there are so many contributing and changing factors. Balkerne provides property specific, live information across different risk domains, which enables property owners and operators to significantly reduce the frequency and scale of losses and business interruptions. Their platform incorporates a range of historical data sources, which enables property owners and operators to make informed and auditable decisions for managing long term property climate risk.
BankBI Limited, Bracknell, South East - Analytics
Accurate, timely and automated financial performance analytics and reporting are critical to every financial institution’s success. BankBI offers senior management in banks, credit unions and the microfinance industry the chance to measure, monitor and manage their business in real time using industry standard ratios, dashboards and automated management information. Based on the integration of a targeted minimum data set, BankBI delivers rapid time to value and a guaranteed successful project outcome.
BankiFi Technology, Manchester, North West - Open Banking
For SMEs and the self-employed, lots of small admin tasks can quickly become overwhelming. BankiFi orchestrates and automates these admin tasks as well as providing an integrated invoice-to-pay service that matches and reconciles payments with open invoices and auto reminds late payers. They help businesses by providing all their needs in one place, improve productivity, financial health and help drive growth.
Caura, London - Payments
Looking to simplify and streamline vehicle payments, Caura is the payment platform for your car to manage parking, tolls, congestion charge, MOTs, vehicle tax and insurance. Caura DRIVE allows users to pay for 95% of parking, London's CC/ULEZ charges and tolls by just entering your vehicle registration. Caura PROTECT is an FCA registered product with seven insurers, allowing drivers to purchase and manage motor insurance. Caura MAINTAIN seamlessly manages MOTs and vehicle servicing.
Coincover, Cardiff, Wales - Insurance
Cryptocurrency can be a risky investment, but it shouldn’t have to be. Coincover’s technologies and insurance backed guarantee protects the contents of your digital wallet. Delivering security and assurance in cryptocurrency for individual investors, fund managers, professional traders and corporate customers, they provide deposit protection, crypto key storage and recovery, lost key protection, cryptocurrency wills, and cryptocurrency theft cover, all underwritten by Lloyds of London Insurers.
Credas, Cardiff, Wales - Digital ID
Simplifying identity verification, Credas provides a combination of biometric facial recognition, document authentication, client engagement, data capture and eSign technologies to a range of markets and sectors. Typically supporting the regulated space to date, with KYC, AML, Right to Rent and Right to Work checks, Credas clients can engage with their end-users remotely from anywhere in the world, in real time.
CreditEnable, London - Lending
CreditEnable has a mission to enable SME lenders and borrowers everywhere to effortlessly find their perfect match. They are building the world’s first end-to-end digitally managed marketplace for SME credit. Lenders using their marketplace benefit from efficient access to quality borrowers, improved quality in their SME loanbooks, significantly reduced underwriting timelines and profitable growth. The marketplace also helps SMEs better understand lenders' credit requirements, get prepared for debt and assists them to secure the capital they need at an affordable rate.
Datactics, Belfast, Northern Ireland - Regtech
It’s estimated that 90% of a business’ potential is under utilized, and often the solution to this is found in data, which is complex, time-consuming to analyse and often needs coders, programmers or data analysts to translate. Datactics’ platform transforms data into actionable insights, and empowers those who know data to fix it, without the need for coders or programmes. This helps businesses gain new markets and improve their internal productivity.
Flock, London - Insurance
Flock are a UK insurtech rapidly becoming known as the go-to insurer for the connected and autonomous world. Flock started out in the drone industry, where they launched Europe's first pay-as-you-fly insurance for commercial drone operators in 2018. They have now issued millions of quotes and insure some of the world's largest drone fleets in the world. Flock is working with the world's leading insurers to reinvent other areas of insurance with their proprietary risk intelligence algorithm.
FloodFlash, London - Insurance
Extreme weather events increase in frequency each year. Whilst floods come thick and fast, flood claims can be painfully slow. The wait for cash can have dire consequences for flood-struck businesses, as rent, bills and wages mount up. FloodFlash is a new type of rapid-payout flood cover. It uses the latest in data modelling and connected tech to bring parametric insurance to the mass market for the first time. The result is fast, easy and flexible cover that pays claims within days of a flood.
IE Hub, Milton Keynes, South East - Digital ID
Every year in the UK, 10 million people in financial difficulty have to share detailed income and expense (I&E) information with an average of 6 creditors, an exercise that may need to be repeated regularly when circumstances change or creditors seek updates. It can result in severe mental anxiety. IE Hub’s Customer Portal makes it quick and easy for you to record and share this information conveniently and with multiple parties, using any device. As for creditors, they can use the CRM portal to automatically validate data provided, against what’s held in the credit bureau, and view a customers affordability journey over their lifetime, providing a holistic view of their situation.
Just Move In, Bournemouth, South West - Proptech
Moving house has long been voted one of the most stressful life events to experience. Just Move In simplifies home moves by setting up essential services such as council tax, water, energy, broadband, insurance and more. They handle the admin around moving and recommend the best matches for movers, based on customer service, long-term value and ethics. Their service is also used by estate agents, conveyancing firms, banks and retailers to make sure their customers get a hassle free move.
Lightyear, Belfast - Invoices
Traditionally, the Accounts Payables process demands hours of manual data entry. Lightyear are transforming and automating the process with an intelligent cloud hosted application. Helping businesses of all sizes, across the world to automate this process, they’re reducing the invoice payables cost from £15 per document to £0.25p, and, on average, saving customers 80% processing time. Their system is 100% accurate, and seamlessly transitions documents between team members for one click approval.
Maji, London - Pensions
Over 15 million people in the UK can currently expect inadequate retirement incomes. Maji has developed a personalised platform and app, designed to give consumers one place to manage their pensions and plan for retirement by using the latest behavioural science and AI technology. It is available through employers, pension providers and financial service partners for whom it can cut costs and increase revenue.
Moneyshake, Newport - Lending
Moneyshake has developed price competition technology to revolutionise the way people will buy products and services online. Rather than one-dimensional static comparison, Moneyshake’s technology allows product providers to bid for its customers’ business in unlimited volume and in real time. Initially launching in vehicle leasing, the business has helped thousands of people get the very best deal on their new car. Over the next 12 months, Moneyshake will add multiple finance options to its platform - creating the UK’s first competitive car finance marketplace.
Nivo, Manchester - Regtech
Anyone who has applied for a mortgage or loan knows the mountain of paperwork it brings. Nivo has created a messaging network for financial services, where loan providers of all kinds can gain the customer experience of UK challenger banks with a familiar messaging format that moves deals forward quickly and cuts out manual tasks. Customers can communicate with their provider and input what’s needed, like Biometric ID checks, e-signed agreements, payslips, bank statements, personal data, and other key evidence. The data is referenceable and easily shared between intermediaries, making the processes more efficient for all parties involved.
Pikl, Norwich - Insurance
As the sharing economy further evolves, people are renting and sharing things they would not dream of 10 years ago - for example, renting out your spare bedroom as an Airbnb which can affect your home insurance. Pikl enables customers to preserve the things they love by delivering market-leading usage-based insurance products and experiences that enable people to confidently share their assets and skills with the world.
Pomelo Pay, London - Payments
In a time where businesses have had to quickly adapt to a cashless society, Pomelo has developed a platform where businesses can use the power of QR for payment technologies to create a sales channel at every customer touchpoint. Not only does this create higher conversion rates, new marketing channels and new revenue streams, customers also don’t have to touch or press anything like with a traditional card machine.
Portify, London - Lending
Portify has developed inclusive financial services for those with non-standard employment and financial backgrounds, including flexible workers. Their products enable people who normally wouldn't qualify for certain financial services to access fair and essential financial products such as credit building, interest-free loans and tools to help users budget and stay clear of expensive overdrafts.
Proportunity, London - Proptech
As more and more people are trying to get on the property ladder, being a first-time buyer is getting even more competitive. Proportunity makes ownership possible by helping first-time buyers afford homes sooner, and without relying on the bank of Mum and Dad. They use machine learning to identify fast-growth properties, and then lend the buyer the down-payment needed to obtain a mortgage. Their product is estimated to annually enable over 200,000 first- time buyers that normally would not have a chance to own their home.
SO-SURE, London - Insurance
When things go wrong, you want to know your insurance provider has your back. SO-SURE has redesigned insurance to put the customer first, restoring consumer trust in insurance. Through a new model and technology, they provide an amazing experience if you need to claim on insurance, and if you don't need to claim, they can pay you back up to 80% of your premium, every year. They started in the UK with mobile phone insurance, and they are on the path to expand globally and across insurance lines.
SquareBook, Edinburgh - Capital Markets
SquareBook is changing the way companies issue shares and raise capital on regulated markets, transforming the equity IPO process. The SquareBook platform uses innovative auction technology to guide IPO pricing and allocation decisions, delivering fairer outcomes for issuers and investors. SquareBook's innovative, transparent and efficient service dramatically reduces the costs of an IPO to the company raising capital, removing the barriers that deter companies from raising capital on regulated markets.
Streeva, Guildford - Payments
Streeva automates everyday processes by making transactions smarter. Their goal is to make payments work better for everyone, starting with tax benefits for UK charities. Their initial solution Swiftaid automates the traditional Gift Aid process used by many charities, handling the entire process for digital donations, and at no extra cost to the donor.
Uncapped, London - Lending
Driven by the belief that founders should not have to give away ownership or personal guarantees to fund growth, Uncapped providers founder-friendly capital without interest or equity. They invest £10k to £2m in online businesses for a flat fee of 6% which is repaid as sales grow. Founders can apply online, receive an offer in 24 hours, and get back to growing their business.
Urban Jungle, London - Insurance
When it comes to renting, it can be a jungle out there. Urban Jungle provides fully digital insurance for renters, empowering the next generation of customers by making it much easier to get access to more suitable insurance at a better price. They offer content insurance starting at £5 a month and it takes just two minutes to get a quote.
Vistalworks, Glasgow - Regtech
It’s estimated that illicit trade and fake goods drain the global economy of $2.2trillion dollars a year, in addition to fuelling illegal financial activity such as money laundering and criminal gangs. Vistalworks’ risk-scoring technology identifies illegal products and their sellers, who openly operate online, and can warn consumers of potential harm before they buy. It also provides law enforcement agencies and regulators with essential intelligence. Their plan is to supply banks and payment providers with seller risk scores in order to identify and prevent illegal transactions.
Wealthkernel, Nottingham - Wealth
Wealthkernel supplies investment infrastructure for companies looking to offer digital investment services. They offer a comprehensive solution that covers client onboarding, trading and custody. The infrastructure is optimised for the delivery of investment and wealth-management services to non-traditional clients, namely those who are considered not commercial to service.
Yapily, London - Open Banking
Yapily enables fairer and better financial services for everyone. Using an open API, Yapily makes connecting to banks easy, to seamlessly access bank account data and initiate payments. It powers applications invisibly behind the scenes, and allows their clients to be front and centre with a seamless and improved user experience, giving them complete control.
Catherine Wines, Co-founder and Director of WorldRemit commented: “It was another year where we identified some amazing Fintech companies set up in the UK, showing how thriving the UK environment is for Fintech businesses. What was also striking is the increase of such businesses set up outside London and by women. No doubt the Tech Nation Fintech programme contributes to their development”
Tim Levene, CEO, Augmentum VC commented: “Despite the backdrop of Covid, the innovation in Fintech continues apace and it has been particularly pleasing to see the strength in depth not just by areas of focus but by geography too. Although London remains the centre of gravity for UK fintech, clusters of fintech excellence are being developed across all corners of the country.”
Amir Nooriala, CCO, CallSign commented: “It was a delight to see the continual pipeline of innovative and high potential FinTech firms this country continues to produce. I look forward to continuing to work with Tech Nation and watching these startsups scale successfully.”