This week’s roundup of financial software news for CFOs is full of items that testify to the vim and vigour of FinTech in the UK today (including a news piece from us at Soldo).There’s also a report from Innovate Finance, which is essential reading for anyone in the field who wants to make sure that financial technology continues to thrive in the UK today – for the benefit of everyone.
Read on and let us know if you have any suggestions for inclusions in next week’s edition.
The big news for financial software this week comes in the form of a stark report from Innovate Finance, the independent membership association that represents the UK’s global FinTech community. The report follows the call for input from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the European Union and the development of an immigration strategy that is aligned to a modern industrial strategy.
Soldo, the London-based FinTech solving the challenge of automating, delegating and controlling company spending, has announced the appointment of Darren Upson as VP of Small Business Europe. The role will comprise of developing integrations with key technology partners, alongside growing the Small Business customer base across Europe. This key hire signals the fast development of the FinTech company that wants to make controlling company and employee spending a breeze.
In his most recent role as both Marketing Director and Small Business Director at Xero, Upson was instrumental in growing the UK subscriber base from 83,000 to over 250,000 in under three years.
Swedish e-commerce outfit iZettle is looking to propel its business to Unicorn status in an IPO that could be announced as early as next week, according to the Financial Times. Launched in 2011, iZettle quickly established itself as the Square of Europe, helping small businesses accept card payments through their mobile phones.
The firm has since moved deeper into the merchant value chain, offering tools to take payments, register and track sales and to get funding. Earlier this month it launched a subscription-based e-commerce marketplace for small business owners to set up Web shops and sell their wares online.
Facebook has announced a way to plug popular business tools into the social network’s office collaboration service, called Workplace, in an effort to catch up with features in competitors such as Slack.
Facebook has long courted business customers but is mostly identified with its consumer brands, including its social network, Messenger and WhatsApp. Workplace collaboration is a fast-growing area but rivals including Slack and Microsoft Teams already offer third-party app integrations as a way to entice and keep customers.
iwoca, one of Europe’s fastest growing small business lenders, has raised an additional £50 million in a debt facility provided by a syndicate of banks. The debt increase was led by NIBC Bank. Existing lenders in this syndicate, Shawbrook Bank and Pollen Street Capital, through one of its credit funds, also participated.
iwoca will use this facility to provide financing to micro and small business customers. This increase comes at a time when the overall value of debt products provided by banks for small businesses is contracting. According to UK Finance, the value of loan facilities approved each quarter by high street banks for businesses with less than £2 million in annual turnover fell by 52.3% between Q1 2012 and Q4 2017, while the total number of VAT registered firms has increased by 23% to 2.7 million over the same period.