Publication: Accounting Web
25th August 2020
Five different fintech developers landed a total of £20m in the latest round of awards, which was set up after Monzo and Nationwide handed back their grants earlier this year. The first phase of Pool Ewas open to developers working on fintech tools relevant to smaller businesses and attracted 92 applications during June.
There is a further £80m remaining in the CIF Pool E funding pot that will is earmarked for a second wave of applications that came in during July. The “period two” grants ranging from £10m to £35m are available to organisations eligible for previous Pool A, B and C grants awarded last year.
These pools included banks offering business bank accounts – the categories that originally included Monzo (A) and Nationwide (B) – and pool C for those developing international payment mechanisms that would be accessible to UK small and medium size businesses.
The successful applications for the second set of Pool E awards will be announced during the week of 21 September 2020.
Pool E award winners
The £5m grant winners this month included Funding Xchange and Onfido.
Funding Xchange is a financial marketplace “designated by HM Treasury to support SMEs rejected by their bank for finance”. The developer gave a commitment to its £5m grant to promote competition and transparency that will ultimately enable 1.1m businesses to get access to £560m in sustainable funding that was previously out of reach. It will do this by integrating with price comparison websites, accounting platforms, challenger banks and Enterprise Nation's finance portal to deliver pre-approved offers of finance.
Onfido.id is an open source platform for identity verification. Onfido It will use the Pool E funds to develop biometric fraud detection, data anonymisation, and document fraud prevention technologies that will reach 5% of UK SMEs by December 2021 and 20% by December 2022. The cumulative savings on ID checks for companies who use Onfido.id will be £87m, the company promised.
The £2.5m grant winners included Codat, ezbob, Fractal Labs and Previse.
Codat, a £5m winner in the Pool D section last year, will add the latest tranche to continue developing and deploying its application programming interface within a network of online banks, lenders, insurers and cash flow forecasting companies fed by the main cloud accounting software platforms.
Among the other successful applicants, ezbob is building a “lending as a service” system for small businesses, Fractal Labs is working with personal tax app developer untied to create a unified revenue collection and tax filing initiative called SMART (SMEs Manage Accounts Receivables and Tax), and Previse is working with the Federation of Small Business to build InstantFinance, a system that will open up finance for 50,000 SMEs who trade with large corporates.