French FinTech Aria is launching in the UK following 2,000 per cent year-on-year growth.

Aria supports the growing gig economy, which comprises the contingent workforce and booming online B2B trade, connecting to marketplaces, transactional SaaS platforms and ERP systems.

The firm was founded in 2019 in Paris by Clement Carrier and Vincent Folny. The ex-freelancers understood the pain of waiting for slow payments, and uncertainty of income.

Since launching its API in 2021, Aria says it has rapidly grown to become the leading provider of deferred payment for contingent workforce platforms in Europe. It works with the largest freelance platforms and marketplaces such as Malt, Brigad, StaffMe and SThree.

With a recent debt raise of £50m from M&G Investments, Aria is preparing for further growth in the UK and European market with annual finance capacity of over £1 billion.

“We built Aria to make instant B2B payments the new standard for the platform economy,” said CEO Carrier.

“Our growth has been fuelled by solving a real problem for freelancers and businesses in a way that lets platforms keep control of their customer experience.

“Opening up the UK market is an important step in our journey to change the way businesses pay and get paid.”

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Freelancers contribute approximately £20bn to the British economy each year. Yet these statistics are largely based on the gig economy, which often doesn’t even include the highly skilled end of the freelancer spectrum.

Some estimates push this economic contribution further, stating the spiralling growth of the gig economy in the UK could explode to a £63.25bn contribution to the UK economy by 2026.

Aria distributes early payment of supplier invoices and offers deferred payment options for end-clients via their API, letting their platform partners white-label the solution to create brilliant customer experiences and new revenue opportunities.

The firm has opened a new office in London and appointed embedded finance and B2B marketplace specialist Tom Lamb as head of UK.

He will lead its growth efforts and scale the UK team with up to eight hires expected in 2023.

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Lamb said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing Aria’s technology to the UK, supporting platforms to solve the biggest problem facing many freelancers and suppliers.

“Post-Covid and in the current economic climate more and more companies are looking online and for contingent workforce solutions but struggle to get the same terms or experience to which they are accustomed.

“By working with our platform partners we make solving this crucial issue for businesses and freelancers simple, easy and automated.”

Aria support 20,000 freelancers per month with invoices ranging from £500 to £20,000.

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