Having established itself as a world leader in financial services, London is now cultivating one of the leading fintech markets in the world, and is home to 72% of all ambitious fintechs in the UK. There are now more than 800 high-growth fintech firms in London which are revolutionising how consumers and businesses manage and exchange money. London fintechs benefit from close proximity to the most frequent investors into UK fintech companies: Passion Capital, Seedcamp and Balderton Capital. They also have easy access to a plethora of industry events, from London Fintech Week to the Fintech World Forum.
Last year, we profiled 50 of the top scaling fintechs across the whole of the UK. In this post, we’ve profiled 21 early stage fintechs in London, based on how much investment they’ve received. Winning the confidence of investors and receiving high levels of capital is a good indication that a company has a strong team, vision and product roadmap, and now has the runway to deliver on their strategy.
Whether you’re scoping out the competition, looking for new businesses to invest in or just trying to get a better understanding of London fintech startups, this list is a great place to start.
Top early-stage fintechs in London: 1 - 5
1. BLEND Network
Funds raised: £12.3m
Founded: February 2016
BLEND Network operates a Peer-to-peer (P2P) website that directly connects lenders with borrowers looking to raise money to purchase property. All loans facilitated through Blend are secured against a first-charge on the property, enabling the lender to recoup some of the funds they lent, in the event that the borrower defaults. Lenders must lend a minimum amount of £1,000, for each loan, and can expect a return between 8-12%. The Blend platform is designed to be simple to navigate, allowing lenders to browse through available loans and select which one they wish to make.
Blend only considers limited companies and LLPs eligible to borrow funds, with the typical loan size ranging between £150,000 and £3,000,000. As such, the majority of borrowers tend to be small and medium experienced property developers across the UK, with lenders mainly consisting of bankers, hedge fund managers and retail lenders.
Funds raised: £11.4m
Founded: September 2015
Bofin is a global fintech company which enables consumers and businesses to manage their finances in one central place. Its users are able to instantly set up global current accounts, make fast international payments and connect their personal and business accounts through the Bofin app. Another key feature is the ability for its users to connect and link bank accounts from every country through the Boffin app, enabling easy management of these accounts in whatever currency selected.
For use of these features, Bofin charges a fixed monthly fee and for international payments, it charges a maximum of 2%. EU accounts can be paid for free from Bofin current accounts, with payments between Bofin users also free, regardless of their location. Bofin merely facilitates payments through its app, with the actual services being provided by regulated payment and financial service providers. It is currently headquartered in London, with offices in Amsterdam and Paris, and in-house software development centres in Mumbai, India.
Funds raised: £8.58m
Founded: May 2015
ShareGain is aiming to tap into the benefits of securities lending by providing an online platform that simplifies the process and makes it more accessible. Securities lending enables investors to lend their stocks, bonds and ETFs in exchange for a fee (called a lending revenue rent), offering enhanced returns, increased revenue and the offsetting of costs. Traditionally, securities lending has been largely restricted to institutional investors. But Sharegain is seeking to make securities lending more accessible by offering this opportunity to fund managers, private banks, wealth managers and online brokers.
ShareGain’s unique portfolio analyser is able to determine the extra funds that can be made on existing securities. Users set their own lending limits, choose which securities they lend and approve each loan individually, whilst getting real-time access to the lending rate on their securities.
Funds raised: £8.57m
Founded: March 2014
Location: Tower Hamlets
Founded by Rezaah Ahmad (CEO) in 2014, WiseAlpha operates a digital bond market through which retail investors can gain access to the corporate bond asset class. Investors are able to lend money to well-known British companies at affordable rates via fractional bonds.
At the end of December 2019, WiseAlpha launched the ‘Bond Academy’, a free bundle of lessons, with new modules released monthly taught to anyone, by industry experts, about the corporate bond market. The aim is to disrupt the corporate debt market and loosen the iron grip of the financial elite, by equipping people with the necessary knowledge to invest in corporate bonds with high returns. WiseAlpha has raised £8.57m over eight funding rounds to date. The company is already planning a beta launch of a WiseAlpha app and have won the ‘Best Investment Provider’ in The British Bank Awards for the past two years.
5. Acre Platforms
Funds raised: £7.65m
Founded: August 2018
Location: Kensington and Chelsea
Acre Platforms develops blockchain-based software to manage customer data during the mortgage application process. Acre’s cloud-based platform uses a private blockchain to collate all components of the mortgage advice process, essentially creating one permanent record of the transaction. Blockchain technology provides a permanent record of transactions and its ability to securely store confidential data, making it a valuable tool for recording important information in the mortgage advice process.
The platform records information such as client reporting, commission calculations, and a history of each mortgage for compliance purposes. The platform also enables homebuyers to securely transfer documents and communicate with their broker or advisor. With this information being easily accessible, the mortgage process can proceed quicker whilst allowing brokers and advisors to spend less time searching for and requesting information. Acre has attended the Founders Factory accelerator program where they received support in developing its product and gained valuable market insight.
Top early-stage fintechs in London: 6 - 10
Funds raised: £6.67m
Founded: November 2011
Location: City of London
Qredo offers a secure crypto custody system, utilizing the security of the blockchain. This addresses the threat posed by crypto hackers, who attack the private keys of crypto owners and remotely steal their cryptocurrency. Qredo protects against this by providing a decentralised key storage system, utilizing cryptography to protect private keys and ensure that they only become available at the point of liquidity.
Qredo was initially built with the aim of supporting the telecom industry, creating technologies to enable secure and compliant mobile digital payments using direct carrier billing. They have even developed their own cryptocurrency, Qredocoin, with the intention of creating a secure payment space within the telecom industry. Competitors include Fireblocks, Unbound and Curv.
Funds raised: £6.49m
Founded: April 2016
HyperJar develops a mobile budgeting app that allows users to plan, share and spend their money. Users are able to open multiple ‘jars’ which act as a network of mini accounts that are connected to the same ‘Smart Payment Card.’ Money deposited in jars is deposited in segregated accounts with major UK retail banks, and each jar can be used to make payments for specific items. For instance, users can create jars for groceries, holidays or meals at restaurants, with payments for these items made from the associated jar. This allows users to get breakdowns of their spending patterns, helping them to budget and better manage their finances.
HyperJar also simplifies expense sharing, with users able to create joint accounts from which up to 30 people can pay in, spend and track, thereby ensuring bill splitting and shared expenses are easily settled. Additionally, HyperJar has partnered with several retailers, with users able to receive a number of offers and awards when they open a jar with a HyperJar partner. Money deposited and locked into a partner account (meaning this amount cannot be withdrawn and must be spent at the partner) receives an annual Growth Rate of 4.8% a year, calculated and added daily.
Funds raised: £5.31m
Founded: June 2017
Established back in 2017 by ex-Goldman Sachs employee Stefano Vaccino, Yapily has developed a platform that is designed to provide open banking through a single gateway, securely and seamlessly connecting clients to all banks. Yapily’s API means both payments and account information functionality can be sourced from hundreds of banks.
The Yapily API supports big banks across Europe and has even set up a partnership with IBM. The company has raised £5.31m in equity finance across three funding rounds, and has secured investment from HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, LocalGlobe, Taavet Hinrikus, Ott Kaukver and Roberto Nicastro.
Funds raised: £5.00m
Founded: January 2019
Snoop develops a mobile app to which users connect their current accounts and credit cards and receive suggestions on how to save money. The platform utilises artificial intelligence to understand, monitor and make recommendations to users on ways they can save on their expenses. The Snoop app has three main functions. Firstly, it monitors consumers’ bills and ensures that increased prices are identified and users are notified. It also searches for and suggests money-saving recommendations, based on expenses that users already incur. Finally, it provides a portal for money management, where consumers can view all their bank accounts in one central place.
The platform is powered by Open Banking, a secure form of technology which allows access to its users’ bank accounts and credit cards without having to view login details. Since being founded just less than a year ago, Snoop is expected to be available on the market in the first half of 2020 and is already accepting early access applications on its website. Snoop will be available for free, generating revenue from sponsoring companies.
Funds raised: £4.97m
Founded: August 2017
Location: City of London
Founded by serial entrepreneurs and exchange-traded funds (ETF) specialists Hector McNeil and Nik Bienkowski in 2017, HANetf operates a web-based platform for ETFs. The company provides a white label operational, regulatory, distribution and marketing solution for asset managers who want to launch and manage UCITS ETFs. Their aim is to lower the barriers to entry, reduce costs and increase speed-to-market for institutional investors.
The team raised its first round of equity finance just a few months after inception, with a £3.07m round at a £4.5m pre-money valuation in October 2017. A further £1.9m round followed a little later in February 2019 at £10.1m pre-money. The round was backed by existing shareholders Elkstone Capital and Point72 Ventures, along with ThirdStream Partners, Jim Wiandt and Roger Hodenius. The capital was raised to fund a significant increase in staff numbers.
Top early-stage fintechs in London: 11-15
Funds raised: £4.27m
Founded: July 2018
Koyo offers lending services for people who have recently moved to the UK or seeking credit for the first time. Koyo founder Thomas Olszewski faced difficulties applying for a credit card upon moving to the UK in 2016, as his credit history from his home country was not considered. Today, over 6 million people face this same problem, as they do not have a credit history built in the UK.
Users connect their current account to the Koyo platform, where a loan assessment is made based on transactions in their bank account, rather than a non-existent or inaccurate credit score. For instance, if the customer’s account reveals they have regular income and expenses are a reasonable proportion of their income, Koyo may offer them a competitive loan. This can redress the problem faced by borrowers who may currently be refused credit or charged excessive borrowing fees from other lenders.
Funds raised: £4.09m
Founded: December 2016
Finbourne Technology has developed advanced financial software for the investment management industry. Their mission is to reduce the cost of investing and increase transparency with their product LUSID, an open cloud-based investment data platform for those in the asset management industry, from fund managers to global investment institutions.
In 2019 Finbourne won Best Buy-Side Newcomer at the Waters’s Buy-Side Technology. In the same year, the company partnered with TraderMade in order to share more data on the LUSID platform and increase its offering across the investment industry. EDI (Exchange Data International) also offered their market data to be integrated into the LUSID platform. Both of these are a part of LUSID Early Access Program, launched in 2019, which enables customers to sign up for a free 90 days with access to all functionality, including market and FX data.
To date, Finbourne has received £4.09m in funding through a £2.08m round in April 2017 and a £2.01m round in November 2018.
Funds raised: £4.00m
Founded: June 2017
Tymit is a mobile-enabled credit card company, co-founded in 2017 by brothers Martin and Nicolas Magnone Ballefin, as well as Juan Montalvo Bressi. The team’s first round of funding was completed in November 2019 and totalled £4m of equity and debt finance.
Soon after in December 2019, Tymit launched the first app-enabled instalment credit card. This allows users to split payment from 3 to 24 monthly instalments and calculate charges before making a purchase, utilising a built-in calculator function. The aim is to give customers more control over their spending, with additional features of real-time spending notifications, automatic purchase categorisation and reporting. Unlike a traditional credit card, interest is calculated and applied in instalment plans ranging from 12% – 22.7%, with an ability to bundle purchases together.
Tymit is breaking new ground in a fast-growing space, with competition already sprouting up from the likes of Jaja and challenger banks Tandem and Starling, which are all launching credit cards.
14. Apply Financial
Funds raised: £3.81m
Founded: November 2010
Location: Richmond upon Thames
Apply Financial develops payment processing software that enables individuals and businesses to make error-free bank payments through a payment validation API called ‘Validate’. This software is mainly used by financial institutions and corporations to make individual or bulk payments to suppliers and payroll.
Failed payments can pose a considerable cost, whilst also damaging business relationships, and usually occur due to incorrect or out of date information being inputted. Validate aims to rectify this by automatically checking domestic account details, keeping up to date with global payment rules and checking global holiday data to avoid delays. Validate is priced on a per validation basis, with users only paying for the payment validations they need. Over 700 companies worldwide are currently using this tool, including banks such as Barclays and ABN, corporate companies like Apple and EasyJet and foreign exchange companies such as Currencies Direct.
Funds raised: £3.80m
Founded: August 2016
Location: Kensington and Chelsea
Floww is a SaaS platform that aims to revolutionise the private asset market by allowing investors and financial institutions to analyse their portfolios. With tools that slice deal data and allow users to spot new investment opportunities, financial Institutions can improve their portfolio reporting, client communication, and their distribution of products. The company secured £1.7m in funding in January 2017 and £2.1m in July 2017,
CEO and Founder Martijn de Wever already has a proven track record in leading and growing companies after founding VC firm Force Over Mass in 2013.
Download The Fintech Brief for a closer look at trends in the sector.
Top early-stage fintechs in London: 16-21
Funds raised: £3.59m
Founded: September 2016
Co-founded by Kevin Cook (CEO), Matthew Longhurst (COO) and James Skillen (CTO), TreasurySpring has developed an online portal that offers access to a range of fixed-term Funds. Similar to a Term Deposit, an FTF requires no infrastructure but it uniquely provides exposure without the unsecured bank risk. Traditionally the more sophisticated and larger financial institutions have dominated the wholesale money markets, but TreasurySpring FTF online portal is designed to democratise this landscape by connecting cash-rich firms into the same investment pipelines. The aim of this is to reduce the investment risk with institutional borrowers, without compromising returns, from across the sovereign, bank and corporate sectors.
To date, TreasurySpring has secured £3.59m in funding, with the latest cash injection of £2m raised in September 2019, despite only publicly launching their product in July 2019. The round was over three times oversubscribed and included participation from ETFS Capital and MMC Ventures, as well as follow-on funding from existing investors. Even in the beta stages, TreasurySpring was voted one of the top 3 fintech startups in Europe at the Money 20/20 conference 2019. In the future, TreasurySpring are planning to continue with the development of their platform and expand their sales, technology and operations teams to meet the growing demand for FTFs.
Funds raised: £3.28m
Proportunity develops and applies machine learning technology to the property market, enabling price forecasting and offering equity style loans primarily for first-time buyers. Founded in 2016 by Vadmin Toader (CEO) and Stefan Boronea (CTO), their vision is that Proportunity will challenge the more traditional lending schemes like the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme.
Through a combination of AI and algorithms the company is able to source data on house price movements, locations, gentrification, crime and much more. They utilise this data to forecast future valuations, providing more certainty for property buyers. By offering an equity loan of up to 15 percent of the property value, home buyers can put down bigger deposits and secure a more competitive mortgage. If the house is sold or remortgaged within five years then the loan has to be paid back at 25% of the current market value, whether it’s fluctuated since purchase or not.
In October 2019, Proportunity received £2m in seed funding, with investors including Anthemis and Axel Springer Digital Ventures, in addition to the £1.28m it secured across three funding rounds 2016 and 2017.
*Disclaimer: Proportunity shares significant shareholders with Beauhurst.
Funds raised: £3.12m
Founded: June 2017
Location: City of London
Something of a ‘meta-fintech’, Griffin is an API-first bank which develops software that provides online infrastructure for other fintech companies. The company aims to provide a simple solution for non-bank financial services companies that are having a tricky time finding banks to partner with. It’s platform allows startups to securely create and manage thousands of segregated bank accounts and is integrated with a number of UK and EU payment schemes including direct debit, FPS, and SEPA, enabling them to focus their time on building their product offering rather than compliance and security.
Established by David Jarvis (CEO) and Allen Rohner (CTO) in 2017, Griffin has just secured its first round of equity finance, receiving £3m from Seedcamp, Tribe Capital and various angel investors for a 45% stake in the company. The capital will help the company through the bank authorisation process with the PRA and FCA, so that it can start supporting the next wave of fintechs in London and beyond.
*Disclaimer: Griffin shares significant shareholders with Beauhurst.
Funds raised: £3.07m
Founded: January 2015
Location: City of London
Procensus is an FCA authorised platform that gathers data and opinions from financial industry professionals across the world in order to provide sentiment analysis and predictions on price changes of various financial products. It offers fully-automated and real time surveys results, providing asset management professionals with rich market intelligence. Procensus is a secure, anonymous and transparent mechanism for institutional investors to share and benchmark their opinions for free. The data collected on the platform powers a proprietary rating system for stocks and market events, enabling investors to make better informed decisions about where to put their money.
Incorporated by James Allchin in January 2015, Procensus raised its first round of equity finance within a month, trading £150k for 38% stake in the business. The company has since raised a further five rounds of funding, reaching a total of £3.07m, and its latest pre-money valuation stands at £9.18m. Investors remain undisclosed, but the company’s cap table appears to be made up solely of individuals, rather than investment vehicles or funds.
20. Katana Labs
Funds raised: £3.00m
Founded: January 2019
Location: City of London
Officially founded late last year, Katana Labs is a corporate spinout of ING Bank which helps asset managers make data-led decisions. It does this through its proprietary AI software which scans trading platforms for potential investment opportunities and produces 100 – 200 bond trade ideas every morning. Users can also filter through and search across the whole bond market in the Katana dashboard, to find opportunities that match their strategy and mandate.
Katana was incubated by ING for two years, and is still supported by the bank as a minority shareholder; ING Ventures fund provided £1.5m of investment in early January as part of a £3m round. The team at Katana, led by CEO Santiago Braje and co-founder and COO Androniki Menelaou, created the platform in collaboration with the investment teams at Dutch pension fund PGGM. With such support from key industry players, we expect this fledgling company has an exciting road ahead of it.
21. Credit Kudos
Funds raised: £2.82m
Similar to the aforementioned Koyo, Credit Kudos aims to transform the credit scoring system and help people access responsible finance they can afford, when they need it, providing credit scores to lenders based on client’s spending habits. Founded in Freddy Kelly (CEO), Matt Schofied (CTO) in 2015, the credit reference agency operates on a B2B basis, utilising Open Banking data to allow businesses to make faster credit decisions whilst increasing acceptance rates and decreasing defaults, and making credit checks fairer for the individuals involved.
The company secured a £2.2m equity fundraising for a 29% stake in April 2019, at a pre-money valuation of £5.38m. Backers included Fair by Design , Entrepreneur First , NFT Ventures , and various angel investors. This takes their total funds raised to £2.82m across four rounds. In September of last year it was announced that the company would be joining Tech Nation’s Fintech accelerator programme.
*Disclaimer: Credit Kudos shares significant shareholders with Beauhurst.
We’re excited to see which of these companies will be thriving in five, ten years time, and which ones may have failed to fulfil their potential – especially considering that some are directly competing with each other.
If you’d like to find out more information on any of these companies, or access the full list of early stage fintechs in London, then book a demo with one of our associates to discuss a subscription to the Beauhurst platform.