Fintech pirkx lands £960,000 and gains former Google exec
pirkx, a London-based start-up which offers sole traders and contract workers employee benefit packages, has landed just shy of £1 million in a seed funding round.
Led by Vala Capital and venture capital fund SyndicateRoom, the £960,000 round will be used by the 2018-founded fintech to expand into new territories. With Australia already underway, South Africa and the US are the next targets.
The start-up has also added two heavyweight executives to its board. Former Google UK and Ireland managing director, Dan Cobley, has been appointed chairman, whilst T. Rowe Price’s former CEO of global investment services, Todd Ruppert, has joined the board as a non-executive director.
Cobley left Google in 2014, and went on to sit on Santander’s advisory board until 2019 whilst he co-found four fintechs, including open banking start-up OpenWrks, free credit score service ClearScore, home financing company koodoo, and workplace finance platform SalaryFinance which acquired troubled, Goldman Sachs-backed Neyber in March.
Ruppert spent 11 years at $1 trillion investment management firm T. Rowe Price, before leaving in 2012. He has advised firms including Cogni, Nutmeg, Octopus Investments, Seedrs, and Tandem Bank, and is a venture partner at $10 billion VC firm Greenspring Associates.
Their newest venture pirkx provides a package of benefits and savings for those who are not covered by benefits from their employer – either because they are contractors, gig economy workers, employing themselves, or are part of smaller businesses which cannot afford benefits packages.
Individuals can join as members of pirkx and get access to benefits such as 24-hour telephone support from GPs, restaurant and retailer discounts, discounted gym membership, and discounted international payments.
The website offers a benefits calculator so workers can weigh up the value of the packages and what monetary savings they would make if they signed up.
The service is priced annually at £45, but is £48 for the year if you pay in quarterly instalments, and £54 for the year if you pay monthly.
“I think the wellbeing offering makes pirkx standout from the crowd in the marketplace,” says Cobley.
“I see a terrific opportunity for pirkx succeed not only in the UK but on a global scale over time,” Ruppert adds.
Founder of investor Vala Capital Jasper Smith says pirkx is a “great management team united with a defendable proposition that can grow exponentially”.