Glasgow-based fintech startup Soar has been awarded a £450,000 Research and Development (R&D) grant from Scottish Enterprise.
The grant has enabled the firm to create an additional 15 jobs, bringing its total headcount to 22, and will allow it to focus heavily on targeting new overseas markets including Ireland, Germany and the United States.
Soar develops cloud-based, integrated banking platforms aimed at credit unions and not-for-profit banking organisations – which allow ethical banks to analyse and manage data more effectively and securely.
Established in 2017, the firm has grown rapidly since its launch and has already developed mobile banks apps for credit unions. In December last year, the startup struck a landmark deal with Glasgow Credit Union, the UK’s largest credit union with more than 50,000 members, to develop a new mobile app and internet banking platform.
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Commenting on the award funding, Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes said: “I’m delighted that this £450,000 research and development grant, funded by Scottish Enterprise, will support Soar’s ambitious plans to develop an innovative platform for credit unions and other ethical banks.
“Projects like Soar’s help sustain Scotland’s international reputation for innovation, moving us closer towards achieving an even more elevated status in the global innovation sector.”
Andrew Duncan, executive chairman at Soar, added: “The financial services market is changing at an alarming rate for ethical providers. Typically, they don’t have the knowledge or the significant IT budgets required to launch apps that are on par with online banks such as Monzo and Revolut.
“By next year over 80% of financial transactions will be carried out on smartphones. Ethical providers need to leap forward to become digital first and remain relevant for the next generation of savers and borrowers – millennials. This grant will help Soar build cost-effective and cutting edge solutions that will help the whole market compete and grow in this fast-paced sector.”