Following a successful LendIt Fintech Europe in London and with MoneyLive Lending coming to the capital this week, the UK is reaping the benefits of a lending scene brimming with startups, banks, fintech unicorns and investors driving innovation across digital banking, fintech and payment tech. Here, we profile ten of the most exciting fintechs on show in London this week.
The Jaja card has been designed to simplify the world of credit forever, at a time when credit has been too complicated for too many people for too long. Jaja prides itself on simple, flexible products, including a digital, and mobile first approach. Yet to officially launch to consumers, Jaja has managed to wrestle some market share ahead of launch, and recently introduced its business product as well. Jaja is regulated by the FCA and is a Principal Member of the VISA payment network.
A fintech/proptech platform enabling individual and institutional investors to earn returns better than inflation, lending money directly to commercial property investors. They’re disrupting the traditional mortgage industry without the requirement of principal capital. The platform boasts zero investor losses and more than £75m commercial property lending facilitated to date.
The first ‘income streaming’ platform that allows employees to access a percentage of their wages before payday. Working with brands such as David Lloyd Clubs and Camden Town Brewery, their mission is to work with companies in all sectors to improve financial wellness, break the payday poverty cycle, and give employees control of how they get paid. Crucially, there are no loans, no credit, and no interest involved.
Founded in 2016 and operating out of Zug, Colendi is a fintech startup provide democratising access to credit scoring evaluation through blockchain technology, giving users an “ID” that they can use as a type of global “financial passport”. It’s helping people across the world who don’t have access to banking, giving them access to micro-financing. For this, both small businesses and individuals need a viable credit scoring mechanism that can serve as a trust agent between lenders and borrowers. Colendi has raised $2.5 million in investment to date.
StepLadder is a collaborative peer-to-peer deposit saving platform on a mission to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder faster, by collaborating with like-minded savers. Bringing the ROSCA model (used by global communities to reach their savings goals faster) to the UK for the first time, Stepladder is helping Generation Rent one savings circle at a time. Take a 12-person circle, for example, members each place £250 every month into a shared pot for 12 months. Each month, one member is randomly selected to receive the full £3,000, which they can use towards a deposit. On their own, it would take 12 months to save this amount but 11 out of 12 members of the circle will receive their deposit sooner.
Founded by Freddy Kelly and Matt Schofield, Credit Kudos is an FCA-authorised credit bureau and Open Banking Account Information Service Provider (AISP), using financial behaviour to measure someone’s creditworthiness. Through direct connections to the UK’s largest banks (open banking), the platform aggregates and interprets transaction data for use by lenders, brokers, and financial institutions. Credit Kudos is more accurate than traditional scoring, providing a comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness, resulting in faster approvals and reduced defaults. Imagine you have spent a period working outside the UK and return with a what’s considered by lenders to be a ‘thin’ credit file due to little/no financial activity in this country. To solve this problem, among many other scenarios, Credit Kudos leverages open banking to enable lenders to make better informed lending decisions when it comes to consumers who do not fit the mould of traditional credit scoring.
Ditto Bank is a new French bank with global ambitions to offer a unique multi-currency model to consumers, for over 30 currencies. Having secured its own banking license, Ditto is designed for people requiring regular access to multiple currencies, such as frequent travellers, expats, online shoppers. Through an app, customers can open current accounts in different currencies, manage their money, make transfers and complete FX transactions.
One of the main challengers giving the mortgage sector a much-needed kick, Molo is the UK’s first fully digital mortgage lender, kicking off their revolution with the buy-to-let market. As the first in the industry to offer mortgages underwritten completely online, they provide applicants with a quick, online experience and guarantees a Decision in Principle within a few minutes, without affecting the applicant’s credit score. Like many great businesses, it was born out of the personal experience of co-founder Francesca Carlesi, who was frustrated at her own experience of applying for a mortgage in 2017, and consequently made a commitment to bring the process into the 21st century.
Founded in 2014 by entrepreneur John Goodall, Landbay is a specialist marketplace lending platform for prime residential buy-to-let mortgages for investors and landlords alike.
It has lent over £360m and funded over 1,500 mortgages to date, with 53% of its coverage in London.
Landbay prides itself on using leading technology to help investors reap the consistent regular returns offered by the UK buy-to-let mortgage market and supporting responsible borrowers in securing access to faster funding.
This Barcelona fintech startup has ambitions to become the number one online consumer lending platform in Europe and LatAm. It’s committed to driving the world’s transition to “sustainable financial prosperity for all” and uses machine learning to build credit scoring and risk management systems which provide financial services options to the unbanked and underbanked. To date, it has issued $36M worth of consumer loans and is registering 20,000 users weekly.
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