Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. As we wrap up 2022, The Fintech Times takes a look back on some of the exciting companies that have recently launched in the sector.
UK challenger bank Novus, the ‘impact’ banking app officially announced its launch into the fintech sector and began actively onboarding users across the UK in February 2022.
Novus closed its crowdfunding round after reaching a total of over $3 million, beating its initial target of $1.2million.
Hristian Nedyalkov, co-founder and CEO of Novus, commented on the launch. Nedyalkov said: “Since raising our first capital in late spring 2021, we have successfully built our own proprietary core banking infrastructure through various milestones including partnering with Visa and Railsbank (now Railsr), receiving regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and welcoming over 150 sustainable brands to our in-app marketplace.
“We initially launched our crowdfunding campaign in December 2021; nine months after securing the pre-seed investment. We aimed to attract like-minded investors and early adopters to join us on our journey to help shape the future.”
In May 2022, identity verification provider ID-Pal officially launched in the UK. The Dublin-based company aims to support businesses of all sizes across Ireland, the US, the EU and the UK. ID-Pal looks to tackle rising levels of financial crime causing monetary and reputational damage to companies.
ID-Pal explained the rise in financial crimes accelerated as many aspects of business moved online due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Colum Lyons, founder and chief executive officer of ID-Pal, explained what the new firm could bring to the table. He said: “Our unique blend of ID checks, all powered by a completely technology-first process, means multi-layered verification takes place on any ID document in real-time. Using AI and machine-learning offers greater accuracy in correctly classifying a document and reduces the margin for error and need for manual intervention.”
November 2022 saw Kuda, a mobile remittance app for Africans, launch in the UK. After gaining a banking licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2019, the Nigerian startup opted to launch in the UK as part of its global expansion drive.
Babs Ogundeyi, CEO and co-founder of Kuda, discussed the UK launch. He explained: “Africans in the UK are faced with barrier after barrier when it comes to financial services – from challenges setting up accounts to prohibitive and inconsistent fees on meaningful transfers. They are forced to limit each transfer to a few hundred pounds to avoid losing money or face escalating exchange rates with bigger transfers.
“Technology means the world is getting smaller but the incredible transformation in financial services hasn’t been inclusive. Kuda is changing that. Initially for Nigerians, then all Africans in the UK and across the globe.”
Payments provider Bluechain officially launched in the UK in October 2022. with its first customer construction materials supplier, Aggregate Industries.
The start-up’s initial objective was to support its first customer, construction materials supplier Aggregate Industries. The startup aimed to digitise Aggregate’s billing, collections and reconciliation process with their SME customers. Bluechain’s expansion to the UK followed a successful launch in Australia in 2020.
Stephen Bedggood, vice president of product at Bluechain, commented. He said: “Bluechain’s launch in Australia has been very successful. A significant number of small businesses and enterprises making or receiving payment via our platform. The expansion into the UK is also a testament to the global success and impact we have had to date empowering businesses and customers in their payments journeys and I am excited to see this replicated in the UK market.”
Channel’s Fintech Lending Fund
October also saw UK-based asset manager Channel Capital Advisors LLP (Channel) launch its new Fintech Lending Fund. Digital lending fintech platforms requiring capital to finance loans to SMEs will use the fund.
In the last 15 years, Channel has distributed over $20billion in credit assets including loans, working capital facilities, and securities.
Paul Wilson, chief investment officer at Channel, commented on what the lending fund aims to do. He said: “The investment into our Fintech Lending Fund is a significant step forward for Channel. It will see us work closely with other digital platforms to facilitate loans for SMEs that are faster, simpler, and also don’t dilute their business. Indeed, the deployment of dedicated funds like this is crucial in supporting and fuelling the ongoing growth of the global SME sector.”
Birmingham-based digital fintech startup venture Step Fourth had its official launch to the UK market in December 2022. The privately funded company is developing a range of digital solutions for UK wealth managers, stockbrokers, consolidators, and platform providers.
Step Fourth aims to offer new client-facing technology that is much more affordable than existing options to support the wealth and investment market.
Stewart Foster, founder and CEO of Step Fourth, commented on the launch. He said: ”We believe that the current digital offerings to the UK market lack innovation and do not provide what the market truly needs. Our vision is to also build an affordable suite of award-winning solutions that will set the benchmark for the wider sector and I could not be more thrilled to be embarking on this new journey.”