Record levels of investment into the UK FinTech scene have seen 40 unicorns crowned in the sector, more than the whole of the rest of Europe combined (37).
VC investment in the sector so far in 2021 ($11.4 billion) is more than double the whole of 2020 ($4.57bn), with Q3 setting an all-time quarter record of $4.9bn.
Around half of the 2021 investment has come from US investors, showing the international appeal of some of the UK’s world leading FinTech firms.
Combined, UK FinTech companies are valued at $340bn, up 61% from $210bn last year, led by the likes of Revolut and Wise.
Against this backdrop, Tech Nation has revealed the 30 companies accepted into the fourth iteration of its growth programme, Fintech 4.0.
Two-fifths of the new cohort companies are based outside of London, including companies from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Nearly a third have female founders.
The six-month government-backed programme was created to support FinTech and InsurTech companies in the UK. Companies accepted into the programme have access to networking events with key stakeholders, peer-to-peer meetups, and insights sessions delivered by established fintech entrepreneurs, investors and partners, which give cohort members the tools and knowledge they need to scale.
This year’s successful applicants will gain access to multiple insight sessions over six months (covering core issues, from investment to sales, partnerships and international expansion) delivered by later-stage founders, all focused on key scaling challenges, as well as regular networking opportunities (with investors, VCs, corporates and peers).
Katja Palovaara (pictured), FinTech programme lead at Tech Nation, said: “We are delighted to welcome these 30 inspiring FinTech companies to the Fintech 4.0 cohort.
“As the UK’s flourishing FinTech sector continues to drive more investment than ever before, our FinTech companies are not just disrupting traditional financial sectors; they are working alongside them to ensure that everyone has the tools and knowledge they need to succeed financially.
“Many of these FinTechs are not only focussed on helping people earn more and invest better, but on making the world a better and fairer place. We can’t wait to see what they do next.”
Fintech 4.0 cohort
Accelex – London
Accelex is the data acquisition, analytics and reporting solution for investors and asset servicers. Powered by cutting-edge data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, Accelex automates the manual and time intensive process of extracting unstructured performance and transaction data from a wide range of private investment documents.
BehaviourLab – London
Behaviour Lab’s platform provides an end-to-end solution to improve decision making, enhance performance and drive transparency for all involved. Its vision is to help transform the £120 trillion asset management industry’s decision making by improving processes and workflows through our SaaS platform whilst debiasing fund manager decisions. The proprietary tools tailor to each fund manager, applied ML algorithms identify costly biases, investment thesis templates capture value from ideas and reporting tools help monitor decisions and nudge fund managers to take action.
BondAval – London
BondAval gives businesses access to institutional-grade trade finance solutions by utilising big data, machine learning components and deep surety and credit underwriting expertise in a proprietary technology stack. The result is a ground-breaking proposition: MicroBonds. The MicroBonds solution democratises access to the most efficient financial instruments usually reserved for blue chip corporations — in minutes, rather than months. BondAval brings a digital-first proposition to the world of B2B insurance, understanding that just because your company name ends with Ltd or Limited doesn’t mean your user experience should be worse than what’s available for consumers.
Bunk – Bristol
Bunk’s platform transforms the entire rental process with a SaaS tool for leasing, marketing and management. With a fully white-labeled platform, clients can digitise the entire letting process while automating management duties. With a big focus on user experience, Bunk utilises modern technology that drives huge cost savings, efficiency gains and retention.
Cardeo – Luton
Cardeo helps credit card holders manage their cards better and save money. The app is free to download and use and automates the management of these accounts. Users stay in control of their repayments and keep their cards – but could typically save up to £390 a year.
DirectID – Edinburgh
DirectID is a global credit risk platform that is redefining the industry for both lenders and their consumers by leveraging customer’s real-time bank data. The platform leverages open finance protocols and bank statement data to help businesses understand their customers throughout the credit risk lifecycle from onboarding through to collections and recoveries. The platform provides businesses with an opportunity to increase conversion by around 45%, make decisions faster from days to seconds, decrease fraud rates by around 7.5%, all while providing the end-user with the convenience they demand.
Ecospend – London
Ecospend is an FCA-authorised fintech that provides full stack open finance solutions for payments (PISP) and data (AISP). It offers the gold standard in open banking products in the UK market from a core team based in London and an offshore engineering team. In late 2020 Ecospend won the largest open banking tender to date with the UK Government and now provides services to HMRC.
Funderbeam – London
Funderbeam is a global fundraising and trading platform. It connects global investors with vetted private companies across international markets and, through its marketplace exchange, allows private investments to be traded. This reduces the cost of capital for companies and allows investors to re-invest into new opportunities at a time that suits them.
Griffin Financial Technology – London
Griffin Financial Technology is creating a bank to be built on: a full-stack banking-as-a-service platform for companies that want to offer their own financial services. It enables customers to focus on building their products and growing their business, rather than managing back-end infrastructure and compliance processes.
Hammock Financial Services – London
Hammock saves landlords time and money by allowing them to manage all their property finances in one place and move away from spreadsheets and paper notes. It provides banking (via open banking, as well as with Hammock’s own personal or business current accounts), automated bookkeeping, tax statements, and business intelligence services for the property sector. It gives professionals in the property sector 24/7 access to their property finances, together with real-time updates, notifications and alerts.
KASKO – London
KASKO enables insurers, brokers and managing general agents to design, build and distribute digital insurance services though any channel; the platform is API-powered and can integrate any third party service. Its platform is modular so that everything comes as a microservice; customers can build as much or as little of a product as they like then scale as necessary and augment on top of any legacy system. The insurance platform includes quote-offer-bind, after-sales and policy management, a white-label front-end and a product engine including payment, policy issuance, mid-term adjustment, claims, and more.
loyalBe – Belfast
LoyalBe helps brands to attract and retain customers through targeted and personalised offers and loyalty programs. It leverages open banking APIs to enable a completely frictionless reward experience for consumers and a deeper level of customer insights for brands, including share of wallet insights. Offers can be personalised by historical purchase data.
MortgageKart – Macclesfield
MortgageKart started out as a digital mortgage brokerage and is now aiming to become a mortgage technology provider with an in-house brokerage. Its platform combines eight front-end & back-end digital solutions – offered as an end-to-end white-labelled platform or a series of modular microservices offered as APIs. Front-end solutions cover collecting client information, checking eligibility, product matching, robo-assistance to determine suitability and an intelligent document-upload engine. Back-end solutions handle workflow, CRM, compliance and analytics. The technology is built to successfully scale MortgageKart’s own B2C digital mortgage brokerage and will transform the way lenders and brokers originate mortgages.
MyPocketSkill – Brighton
MyPocketSkill’s vision is to create a financially-empowered Gen Z. It does this by providing a digital solution to help young people earn, save and learn about money. The solution connects young people with opportunities to earn money and then uses behavioural science to nudge towards savings goals.
Nu-Credits – London
Nu-Credits is a trade finance marketplace connecting SMEs with global lenders, backed by blockchain. It helps verify the authenticity of the business transactions from SMEs and creates more meaningful data on logistics, payment, ecommerce, for example, around their cross-border trades so that more lenders can join forces to grow along with the SMEs by providing more working capital.
Nuggets – London
Nuggets is a decentralised, self-sovereign identity and payment platform. It helps organisations to protect customer data and enable trust in transactions while giving customers a frictionless, seamless experience. It’s the only platform of this kind that truly brings together payments and ID, utilising self-sovereign data principles.
Ordo – Newbury
Ordo is an open banking-enabled payments-as-a-service platform. It offers multiple payment solutions all using open banking protocols, meaning businesses get paid quicker and at lower cost. Solutions include: bill payments via our Request-for-Payment service, ecommerce, contact centre payments, and QR code-based face-to-face payments.
ScribeStar Ltd – London
ScribeStar’s digital platform allows companies to raise money quicker, cheaper and at lower risk. ScribeStar uses security and venue-tailored workflows to streamline the administrative, legal, and regulatory work associated with issuing equity, debt and other securities in public markets. With over 70 IPOs and other issuances produced on the system, the company is seeing interest from stock exchanges to bring its environment closer to their venues, thus creating an end-to-end digital issuance process whilst utilising the structured data ScribeStar produces in the process.
Supercede Technology Ltd – Telford
Supercede is building a global ecosystem set to transform the reinsurance industry. Rather than seeking to digitise people out of the process, it centres its solution around the experts that make the reinsurance industry great and delivers powerful tools to allow them to do their best work. Supercede’s solution consists of three critical components: analytics, placement and network, and is rapidly becoming the solution of choice for cedents, brokers and reinsurance underwriters worldwide.
SUPERHOG – Winchester
SUPERHOG is a digital trust tech solution for short-term rentals using technology, data and embedded insurance to eliminate risk from bookings.
Symmetrical.ai – London
Symmetrical.ai builds payroll-as-a-service API solutions that enables customers to embed international payroll and hiring in any software platform in a few lines of code. One integration covers multiple countries globally.
Tillit – London
Tillit empowers everyone to invest long-term with confidence, conviction and ease. It is built and backed by investment specialists who believe that the key to long-term investing success lies in funds. The DIY platform offers best-in-class funds across regions, asset classes and styles. With a clean design, a user-friendly interface and engaging content, the user is able to make more informed investment decisions for their long-term savings.
Tymit – London
Tymit is reinventing the credit card by making it flexible, safe and honest, for better financial health and peace of mind. It has built a new kind of credit card that helps people make smarter decisions when they buy and gives them the power to plan the way they pay. The offering is built around a set of exciting features that are unique in the industry, like instalment planning and bundling multiple transactions into one financeable item, and it’s all delivered through a seamless mobile app experience.
VALK – London
VALK takes private market deals that are manual, slow and fragmented and puts them onto one digital platform. By digitizing the deal process VALK users can benefit from the automation of processes with the ability to easily create or access secondary markets – something which has previously been too costly and administratively expensive to feasibly offer.
Weavr – London
Weavr provides a cloud-based platform that makes it easy for digital businesses to embed financial services into their applications, and safe for financial institutions to offer embeddable financial services.
WhisperClaims – Edinburgh
WhisperClaims is a cloud-based application that allows accountants to build R&D tax claims quickly and easily. Launched in Sept 2018, it now has over 140 firms nationally using the product, paying a combination of monthly subscriptions and download fees per report generated. It saves users time, removes the need to digest hundreds of pages of HMRC guidance on the scheme, and provides businesses with a platform to generate new revenues.
Wombat Invest – London
Wombat is a mobile-first thematic micro-investment platform. It was created to break down the barriers to traditional investing, making it accessible and appealing to the masses. With Wombat, users are free to invest in a range of themes and individual shares to reflect their interests and beliefs. It offers free accounts, round-Ups, learning tools, and auto-investing.
Yoello – Cardiff
Yoello is a fintech company that aims to disrupt the existing payment system by utilising open banking legislation to cut out the middlemen, and in turn, bring merchants and customers closer together. It connects to banks directly to initiate funds between consumer and merchant accounts, saving businesses 75% on their transaction fees. Currently focused on the hospitality industry, Yoello powers mobile order-and-pay services for thousands of businesses across multiple countries.
Ziglu – London
Created by experienced Starling Bank founder Mark Hipperson, Ziglu is the personal money app that brings the challenger bank experience to cryptocurrency. Ziglu offers transparent, low pricing and intuitive access to a range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, Chainlink, Cardano,Tezos, Doge, DOT and Solana; and their Sterling Boost and Bitcoin Boost accounts pay 5% interest. Ziglu is regulated by the FCA as an Electronic Money Institution, fully safeguarding all customer funds and is one of five companies in the world to have permanent FCA crypto-asset registration.
Zumo – Edinburgh
Zumo is the decentralised financial platform that brings the benefits of blockchain and crypto to people everywhere. Zumo leverages the power of the blockchain to provide highly effective alternatives to legacy products, such as traditional savings accounts and expensive international remittances. It seeks to do this in the most accessible and sustainable way possible so that the benefits of blockchain are for everyone, not just the most tech-savvy or financially literate.