BILLX (t/a Juno) secures £1.6 million Seed investment from investors including Lakestar

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Juno launches payments platform with £1.6mn seed investment

  • The only payment platform to fully leverage Open Banking technology, Juno is on a mission to help small businesses improve cash flow 
  • 70% of UK small businesses facing serious problems with late payments, impacting mental health and putting businesses at risk of failure

20 September 2021– Paytech start-up Juno, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and backed by £1.6 million of seed investment from angel investors and three venture capital firms – Lakestar, the European VC firm that backed Spotify, OpenDoor and Revolut; the Six Group’s Fintech Venture Fund and JME Ventures – has launched the first digital payments platform in the UK to fully leverage Open Banking technology. 

Juno operates in the bank-to-bank payments space, making payments between businesses simpler, faster and more secure with its request-led payment process. 

By automating the request for payment (invoice) process that is still mostly manual for nearly half of UK small businesses, Juno aims to make late payments a thing of the past.

According to research commissioned for report, ‘The real cost of late payments in the UK’, nearly 70% of small businesses are paid late by suppliers, which is impacting the mental health of owners. 63% of small businesses claimed they were suffering from stress, anxiety and/or depression as a result of cash flow issues caused by late payments. Two in 10 businesses said they were at risk of bankruptcy or business closure and 1 in 10 are thinking of making or have made redundancies. 

These startling findings suggest that the culture and status of late payment in the UK has reached crisis point. As many as 50,000 businesses close every year due to late payments, and the pandemic is thought to have exacerbated the issue according to the Federation of Small Businesses.

Juno is co-founded by Pete Bailey, tech entrepreneur; Darren Westlake, who serves as an advisor and is also CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube; and fintech entrepreneur Michael Wilkinson. 

Pete Bailey, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Juno says,

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, yet many are struggling to get back on their feet after the pandemic. We’re on a mission to support them getting paid on time and, by digitising the payment process, stop the time they waste chasing and managing payments; ultimately supporting a stronger cash flow and meaning they can survive and thrive.”

The paytech leader, which has been building its product over the last year, already has a team of 14 people, who have joined from companies such as CapGemini, Ratesetter and Nutmeg. Juno expects to double the size of its team next year. 

Juno will interface with every major European Bank through the Open Banking framework, eliminating the need for users to access their bank accounts or share card details to pay, effectively masking the details that criminals rely on to commit card fraud and making payments faster and more secure.

Further intelligent automation will be added to upcoming product versions including automatic payment of invoices by due date, automatic cash flow updates, optical character recognition (OCR) to eliminate manual input of invoice details and integration with accounting software.  

Consumers can also use the app to request and make payments effortlessly, making chasing money owed from friends, family and housemates a thing of the past. They can split bills and other expenses and get paid instantly by sharing a secure payment email, link or QR code. 

ENDS

Note to editors:

About Juno

Juno is a digital payment platform that enables faster and more secure payments for businesses and consumers. Juno can be used to pay for goods and services or share bill payments with friends. 

Juno’s business platform stops time wasting chasing for payments, which speed up cash flow. 

Juno is on a mission to reduce the cost and complexity of payments, making late payments a thing of the past for individuals and small and medium sized businesses. 

#PayABetterWay #OpenBanking #Innovation #DigitalTransformation #Fintech #paytech #bankingtech

About the research:

Juno commissioned two pieces of research:

  1. During the pandemic (March 2021), YouGov surveyed 500 SMEs
  2. Last week, Juno conducted a survey of 500 self employed people in Britain about the impact that late payment was having on their mental health

Investor quotes

“We are thrilled to have led the latest seed funding round in Juno and send our huge congratulations to the entire Juno team on the launch of their brand new B2B open banking payments platform. As an active investor in SME banking services, we believe Juno is solving a major pain point faced by small business owners by making payments intuitive, fast and seamless. We are bullish that the team that we Juno  has assembled are uniquely positioned to solve this challenge. We look forward to teaming up with Juno on their journey to reinvent bank payments.” Yin Yan, Senior Investment Manager at SIX Fintech Ventures.

Charlie Delingpole, Founder and CEO of ComplyAdvantage who has invested in Juno said: “I am very excited that British SMEs will benefit from the service that Juno is bringing. As both an investor and a startup founder, I am only too aware of the issues faced by companies and professionals when trying to manage their payments to and from others. It is time to bring bank-to-bank payments into the 21st century and Juno is doing just that.”

For further information please contact:

Teresa Horscroft
Eureka Communications
Tel: +44 (0)1420 564346
Mobile: +44 (0)7990 520390
Email: teresa@eurekacomms.co.uk

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Safiya Marzook

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