UK fintech funding round-up: Answer Pay, ScribeStar, SimplyPayMe, Smartr365, & Versori
A handy round-up of the recent funding endeavours of UK-based fintechs.
Answer Pay, a request to pay (RTP) platform service, has received funding from the UK government’s Department for International Trade.
“Arguably, the biggest step-change in payments innovation in the UK and Europe comes in the form of RTP,” the start-up says. “This is a relatively new message overlay service first developed in the UK as a response to the need identified by the Payment Services Regulator (PSR).”
As the first independent solutions provider to offer a Pay.UK certified RTP platform service, Answer Pay plans to expand into Europe, where the SEPA RTP standard was launched in 2021.
“There are over 6,000 banks and providers across the European region now looking at smarter ways to serve up digital payments,” says Peter Cornforth, the vendor’s commercial director.
“Answer Pay finds itself in the right place at the right time, having had a two-year head-start to pioneer the successful implementation of RTP in the UK.”
ScribeStar, a digital platform for capital markets issuance, admission processing and ongoing reporting, has launched its latest funding round on Crowdcube. It has set a minimum hurdle for this investment round of £550,000.
Previously, ScribeStar raised £1.25 million in an oversubscribed round on Crowdcube in 2021.
Since its last round, ScribeStar says it has grown to 1,900+ users from its portfolio of client law firms and corporate advisers. It has handled 86+ transactions, with 47 of those being publicly announced IPOs or public capital raises on the London Stock Exchange or Aquis Stock Exchange.
The start-up says it aims to be “the digital connector” between companies and the market in the UK and abroad.
It offers a digital toolbox that uses customised workflows to streamline the complex legal, regulatory and administrative processes associated with issuing and maintaining securities, whilst creating structured financial and non-financial information in a machine-readable format.
ScribeStar provides complete project management for document production, review and approval.
Paytech start-up SimplyPayMe (SPM) has raised close to $4 million in growth capital to expand in both the European and North American markets.
The company describes its offering as “a fully integrated payment ecosystem, which enables small businesses to run their companies and get paid, all from a single application”.
The SPM app, which is available via the Google and Apple app sores, combines payments, invoicing and business management solutions.
Through integrations with Paysafe in the US and DNA Payments in the UK, the app is able to service SMEs on both sides of the Atlantic, the start-up says, and “properly support this underserved sector where getting paid remains difficult and cash is still often the only alternative option”.
Mortgage platform Smartr365 has announced further funding from its key investor, Legal & General, alongside a pre-money valuation of £50 million.
Legal & General, one of the UK’s major financial services groups and a global investor, has been supporting the business since 2018.
Founded in 2017 and employing 35 staff, Smartr365 currently has 3,500 broker clients following growth of more than 500% in 2021, and is forecast to have 8,000 users by the end of the year.
Following this round of investment, Smartr365 will onboard new partners and integrate Experian’s Work Report tool, which will allow users to access pay slips at source and deliver an automated income verification process for the first time. This follows Smartr365’s integration of Experian’s open banking and credit referencing services in December 2021.
The company says this “marks significant progress towards the fully digital and customer-led mortgage journey”.
“We have always believed that a fully automated customer journey is the future of the industry and I am delighted that we have been able to turn this vision into reality,” states founder and CEO Conor Murphy.
Versori has announced a seed round of £1.5 million to help the company build an integration platform, Switchboard, and digital wallet, Koja.
The angel investment will also help the start-up expand its team, with a focus on developing its technology.
Versori says its Switchboard offering is “a revolutionary integration platform that allows businesses of all sizes to integrate with any other software, regardless of data structures”. It is set to launch with alpha customers in the coming weeks.
Koja is a digital wallet and fintech payment platform designed to integrate customer phones and browsers directly with the stores they shop at, both online and in-person. Versori claims Koja provides “the fastest and most convenient checkout experience in the world of commerce, dramatically lowering merchant costs all around”.
The fintech plans a Series A funding round in October this year.