The Top Fintech Startups in the UK
Sarah Cheesman, 02 November 2023
The UK has long been a hub of innovation, and the finance industry is no exception. Over the past decade, the financial technology, or fintech, sector has surged forward, showcasing an impressive array of startups reshaping how we manage and interact with our finances. These companies are not only redefining the financial landscape in the UK, but also making waves internationally.
From mobile payment apps to blockchain technology, robo-advisors, and peer-to-peer lending platforms, the fintech scene in the UK is teeming with creativity and dynamism. The emergence of these groundbreaking startups is changing how individuals and businesses handle money, as well as challenging traditional banking institutions to deliver a more customer-centric and efficient approach to finance.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the UK fintech startups that are leading the way with their revolutionary solutions, in addition to the impact they’re having on the financial industry here, and across the globe.
What is fintech?
Fintech represents an industry committed to enhancing financial services for both businesses and consumers by harnessing technological innovations. This dynamic sector encompasses a diverse range of entities, including challenger banks, cryptocurrency startups, investment apps, and peer-to-peer lending platforms. To drive their transformative agendas, these companies often leverage technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation to disrupt traditional financial domains.
Challenger banks, exemplified by the likes of Monzo and Revolut, distinguish themselves from more historic banks by focusing on more modern financial practices, such as online-only offerings. They also underpin their services with user-friendly mobile applications instead of relying on brick-and-mortar branches.
The top 10 fintech startups in the UK
Silverbird Global operates a borderless payment solution for businesses across the globe, supporting them with international trading. They have completed three rounds of equity fundraising since they were founded in 2020, the most recent of which was in August 2022.
This round of fundraising was for £6.54m, raised through undisclosed investors. They previously raised £5.21m in September 2021 and £3.41m in May 2021. Their parent company is Silverbird Nest Limited.
TuningBill develops a cross-border invoice discounting tool for investors, buyers and sellers, aiming to allow users to evaluate foreign exchange risks and facilitate discounts for preferred suppliers. Since being founded in 2018, they have completed three equity fundraising rounds and one loan fundraising (in March 2022). Their most recent equity fundraising was in December 2020 for a total of £94.2k.
The B2B neobank operates in the UK, Europe and the USA, with plans to expand into Dubai, India, Singapore and Hong Kong in the near term.
Debit payment card and mobile app provider Lanistar is aimed primarily at young adults. In 2020, they revealed the world’s first polymorphic payment card, known as the Volt card, combining its own keypad and display to generate one-time PINs and CVV2 codes that expire after one use.
They have so far raised £17m in equity fundraising through two rounds—the first of which was completed in March 2020 for £2m. Their second round was in July 2020, with £15m coming from business angels to fund their commercial launch.
Paytrix has developed an API that aims to allow companies to scale internationally using one payment interface. In November 2022, they appointed former Managing Director of financial firms UBS, Softbank Europe and Holihan Lokey, David Sola, as their Chief Financial Officer.
To date, they have raised £19.9m through two rounds of equity fundraising. Their first round was completed in October 2022 for £5m, invested into research and development to develop their platform further. The second was for £14.9m, aimed at growing the business development team, developing the product and expanding across Europe.
BLEND Network operates a P2P website that connects lenders with those looking to borrow funds to purchase properties. They have secured £20m to date over two rounds of equity fundraising, for £10m respectively. The aim of these funds was to help with product development, marketing, and deal underwriting expansion, as well as to expand their team and invest in future technology.
This company has attended an accelerator in the past.
Apron Payments develops a B2B platform that provides payment services, offering easy integration and instant reconciliation for its clients. Since their beginnings in 2021, they have completed three funding rounds totalling £21.4m, the most recent of which was in September 2023.
This equity fundraising was for a total of 12.3m through Bessemer Venture Partners, Index Ventures, and Visionaries Club. These funds were aimed at supporting recruitment and creating more roles within the company.
With a focus on sustainable living, TreeCard develops wooden bank cards and a mobile app that enables users to track their spending, with surcharge profits helping to fund reforestation projects around the world.
Ecosia, the search engine that uses ad revenue to plant trees, was one of the key investors when TreeCard was established, investing £1m in October 2020. They have since raised a further £3.62m through Episode 1, EQT Ventures and Seedcamp alongside an angel investor in February 2021, to support job creation. Their most recent fundraising was in November 2022 for £19m to aidteam growth and expansion into the US market, as well as to further develop the product.
Sequence is a company that develops APIs that allow users to create billing and payment stacks, consolidating multiple-point solutions to improve win rates and leverage new pricing models. This is the only company outside the UK capital that has made our top ten list.
To date, they have raised £28.1m in equity fundraising, most recently inSeptember 2022. This £3.02m investment was to assist with job creation and research and development, further their product offering and expand the business. Sequence was also listed on Capsule’s Scale-up 50 List in 2022.
Super Payments develops AI-based payment processing software with the aim of helping businesses to increase their sales and provide a range of benefits to online customers, such as cashback. Introduced as an alternative to PayPal, Klarna and Apple Pay, the company was unveiled by Samir Desai, the co-founder of Funding Circle.
£22.5m was raised to launch the company, and they have since completed a second round of fundraising in July 2023. This was for £6.25m through undisclosed investors. Super Payments made the Capsule Scale-up 50 List in 2023.
Coming in right at the top of our list is Fintech Farm. Only a couple of years into its life, this company operates a range of neobanks, offering alternative financing and credit options to their customers. To date, they have secured £29m through three different rounds of fundraising, the most recently of which was in March 2023.
They made headlines in January 2022 when they raised $7.4m (verified amount £1.73m) to launch neobanks in eight different countries across Africa and Asia over the next two years.
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