iwoca and Billon land funding via UK’s Future Fund
Fintech start-ups iwoca and Billon have landed funding via the UK government’s Future Fund scheme. Both fintechs are part UK-based, with the other half of their operations based in Germany and Poland, respectively.
The Future Fund is designed to support start-ups which rely on equity investment. It matches third-party investments of up to £5 million in the form of convertible loans.
Alternative lender iwoca, which has lent more than £1 billion since it launched in 2012, did not reveal its total funding amount.
At the beginning of August, iwoca raised £100 million to issue grants via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). This brings its total of debt and equity raised since launch to more than £400 million.
Paired with its Future Fund capital, the start-up will use both investments to scale-up its provision of finance to the UK’s small businesses.
To date, around 50,000 small businesses have landed financing from iwoca. Accredited for CBILS on 20 May, the fintech has been lending under the government scheme since June.
Billon, a blockchain-based fintech working with the likes of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), says it landed £2 million in total.
The start-up landed half of the funding from unnamed angel investors and venture capitalists. The remaining £1 million was matched by the British Business Bank (BBB).
As part of the agreement, Billon can attract additional private investments of up to £500,000 by the end of October 2020. All investments will be in the form of convertible loan notes.
The five-year-old British-Polish fintech has raised more than $13 million in equity to date.
“This new funding in 2020 will support the next phase of Billon’s development,” says Billon’s chief financial officer,” Anand Phanse. “[It] represents an endorsement that investors seek pure distributed ledger technology (DLT) companies.”
Billon’s DLT offering helps financial firms tokenise and transact national currency, as well as process sensitive data.
The UK’s Future Fund
So far, the fund has invested in around 320 companies, racking up more than £320 million in funding.
By June, 252 convertible loans had landed through the scheme, translating into £236.2 million of funding.
The architect of the scheme, the BBB, has not revealed a full list of all the start-up beneficiaries. The scheme will close at the end of September.
Other scheme beneficiaries, according to Sifted, include savings app Plum, digital mortgage broker Habito, challenger credit card Tymit, and money split app, Kroo.
Rental credit fintech, Fronted, and savings app for first-time home buyers, Nude, also bagged funding through the scheme. But these start-ups are yet to launch their offerings.