‘Fintech for good’ incuto raises £1.75m for credit union platform
A ‘fintech for good’ company which has developed a banking platform for credit unions and community banks has completed a £1.75m funding round.
incuto has secured investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF); the government’s Future Fund; Ascension Ventures’ Fair By Design Fund; and the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures.
The funding will allow the Ilkley-based company to roll out its platform to more UK credit unions and prepare for overseas expansion. It comes as the pandemic has increased demand for incuto’s technology by forcing many credit unions and community banks to rapidly digitise their services.
incuto stems from an idea by its CEO Andrew Rabbitt, a business consultant who had identified the need for a digital platform while working with credit unions. He joined forces with banker John Neasham and businessman Les Walker to launch the company in 2016.
The platform is now used by over 40 credit unions and has over 500,000 registered users. incuto has established partnerships with Experian, Telefonica, Google and TransUnion. It recently announced new partnerships with ClearBank to offer credit unions access to faster payments, direct debit processing and virtual accounts, and with the Post Office to allow members to withdraw cash from Post Office branches. incuto is HM Treasury’s sole technology partner for the two-year pilot of its prize-linked savings scheme for credit unions.
The latest investment brings the total raised by the company to date to over £2.5m and has supported the creation of ten new jobs, bringing its team to over 30.
Andrew Rabbitt says:
“We’ve been extremely busy supporting our credit union partners during Covid-19. The lockdown not only escalated the need for credit unions to offer their members digital access, but also to communicate with them more regularly and effectively, something our technology also enables them to do. Credit unions have been at the forefront of supporting financially excluded and often vulnerable individuals and families over recent months, so we are delighted to offer them technology which not only better supports existing members in a digital world, but also enables them to promote their message of ethical, supportive banking to a wider audience.”
Tom Kitchen of Mercia adds:
“incuto provides a complete end-to-end solution for credit unions. The company has already established a strong presence in the UK and has potential for wider use in the UK and beyond. This funding will help it to meet growing demand at home and prepare for international expansion.”
Emma Steele of Ascension Ventures says:
“We are delighted to welcome Mercia as a new investor to support the next key phase of growth for incuto. Seeing incuto’s rapid progress to date has been fantastic and we remain full of conviction that its tech based solution is strengthening a sector that is key to improving financial wellness in the UK. This is both a significant market opportunity and a strong social impact story.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank said: “NPIF has a track record of supporting growing tech companies across the North, and we are pleased to see Mercia building on this trend as we continue to invest in companies across a wide range of emerging and traditional sectors.”
Jonathan Pollard of Ward Hadaway advised Mercia on the investment.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
For more information, please contact:
+44 (0) 161 860 6063
+44 (0) 780 163 9816
incuto was founded on the basis that everyone deserves access to affordable finance. As part of the Fair By Design, accelerator programme, it aims to tackle the poverty premium whereby lower-income households pay more for finance, whether it is high-interest pay day loans or inflexible bank charges. incuto is an innovative banking platform for Credit Unions, community banks and CDFIs. It allows these banks to better serve their communities by updating legacy technology, enhancing the end user experience and improving access to customers.
Our technology is a SaaS solution for our clients. We support back-office processes, financial education, communication, performance management and enhanced service provision. The missing link between Credit Unions and major distribution networks, we offer clients the chance to integrate their services with major organisations like Starling Bank, Post Office, Vocalink, Telefonica, Mastercard and Experian.
Please visit www.incuto.com for more information.
About Ascension Ventures and The Fair By Design Fund
Ascension Ventures backs exceptional entrepreneurs with big visions – providing capital, our network, and expert mentors to grow scalable technology businesses. We support UK businesses from Seed to Series A, and since 2013, Ascension has invested (across 4 distinct funds with £22m+ AUM) in 75+ UK based early-stage companies. Current funds include the ASCEND SEIS (Seed), CENTAUR EIS (Seed+), and its Fair By Design social impact fund, helping to reduce poverty in the UK.
Fair By Design is a movement dedicated to ending the Poverty Premium: people in poverty pay more for a range of products, including high-cost credit; rent-to-own products such as kitchen appliances; and insurance in less affluent postcodes. Our Campaign works with businesses, government, and regulators to design out the Poverty Premium. Our Venture Fund provides capital to help grow innovative ventures developing products that make markets fairer.
About Mercia Asset Management PLC
Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group’s ‘Complete Capital Solution’. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet.
Mercia has a strong UK regional footprint through its eight offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia has almost £0.8billion of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested over £90.0million across its direct investment portfolio.
The Group raises its own Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and details about open offers can be found through Mercia’s website.
Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC” and includes the following wholly owned subsidiaries –
- Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
- Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
- EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560
About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
- The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
- The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
- The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
- The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb