Figures published in May 2019 by FinTech Scotland show that there are now more than 100 fintech companies operating across Scotland.
This increase marked a significant rise compared to the beginning of the year when it was announced that the number of firms had reached 75. The arrival of these new players on the scene highlights both the growing strength of Scotland’s fintech sector, as well as the nation’s desire to tap into a growing global marketplace.
As a country, Scotland has traditionally commanded a wealth of experience in financial services, with Edinburgh the UK’s second major financial hub. Home to a plethora of long-standing institutions, many companies such as JP Morgan & Chase or Barclays now house major offices in Scotland which focus on tech innovation.
Across Scotland, young dynamic fintech companies are leading the charge to establish the nation as a major, global hub of fintech excellence.
In Edinburgh, one can find numerous exciting young companies, while on Scotland’s west coast Glasgow continues to make a name for itself as an attractive city in which to launch a fintech company.
— Amiqus (@amiqus) April 24, 2019
This award-winning tech for good company enables regulated professionals to securely collect client onboarding information and documentation. The company’s Amiqus ID verification software is able to perform a range of client identity and anti-money laundering compliance checks.
Following his experiences in the civil justice system, Callum Murray founded the company in 2015 with the goal of simplifying engagement between companies and their clients.
Since its launch, the team at Amiqus has grown significantly and its software has been adopted by more than 150 legal, accountancy and recruitment companies across the UK.
In 2018, the firm won Deloitte’s Scottish Disrupt the Enterprise technology award, and more recently took home the Pitch of the Day award at EIE 2019.
📢 NEW VIDEO! 📢
Have you heard of all the products that @Castlight has to offer?
— Castlight Financial (@Castlight) July 2, 2019
Based in Glasgow, Castlight Financial provides financial retailers with digital tools to assess a customer’s ability to afford products in real-time.
Founded by Phil Grady, the company’s Affordability Passport helps lenders and consumers to make better decisions in relation to financial products. This creates a “more stable business environment” for financial institutions, according to Castlight.
The Affordability Passport examines a customer’s expenditure across multiple accounts to summarise essential costs and credit commitments to establish their disposable monthly income.
This service is particularly useful for people with a thin financial history and provides them with access to credit.
🤔 Struggling to put into words how useful a cash flow forecast can be for your clients and their business?
Check out what we think are the top 7 advantages of a cash flow forecast for you, and your clients: https://t.co/9QeIVemJeJ pic.twitter.com/Z6o6MdK3LQ
— Float Cash Flow (@FloatApp) September 3, 2019
Float has made a name for itself as one of the top fintech companies in Scotland since its launch in 2012. The company provides cash management and online forecasting services which enables businesses to monitor their cash flow – often a laborious task for companies the world over.
Float lets businesses connect its platform to their respective accounting software, such as Xero, FreeAgent or QuickBooks.
Company founder, Colin Hewitt, who ran his own digital agency for a number of years, was inspired to launch Float due to his experiences of cash flow difficulties in the day-to-day running of the firm.
The Edinburgh-based fintech has international ambitions, and in June 2019 announced the arrival of a new c-suite to lead the firm through a period of growth.
One of the toughest things about running a business is dealing with unpaid #invoices. These 4 hassle-free tips will help you chase those late paying clients and get paid! 💪 https://t.co/v9hZfCet6y pic.twitter.com/ApVn70fe5j
— FreeAgent (@freeagent) September 7, 2019
FreeAgent provides cloud accounting software focused toward small businesses, accountants and freelancers, helping users to manage expenses, payroll admin work and more.
Through its software, users can monitor cash flow at their respective business or organisation and file VAT, RTI and self-assessment returns directly to HMRC.
The company, which has grown significantly in recent years to more than 200 employees, was founded in 2007 by freelancers Ed Molyneux, Olly Headey and Roan Lavery. Today, more than 90,000 customers worldwide use FreeAgent to manage their business accounts and monitor their finances.
FreeAgent was acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in 2018, however, the firm still remains operationally independent.
— LendingCrowd (@_lendingcrowd) September 9, 2019
With a roster of more than 7,000 private investors, Edinburgh-based LendingCrowd brings together investors with SMEs seeking business loans.
LendingCrowd can arrange loans for a range of SMEs, including sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. A host of companies across Scotland have secured loans through the platform, including Glasgow’s Dog Digital and Summerhall Distillery.
Launched in 2014 by entrepreneur Stuart Lunn, the lending platform has grown to become one of Scotland’s top fintech companies, and as of August 2019, the company has loaned more than £63 million to more than 720 businesses and sole traders through its platform.
May 2019 saw the firm partner with the Scottish Investment Bank and Dutch entrepreneurial bank, NIBC, to create a unique funding deal to help accelerate SMEs – with both banks agreeing to lend a combined total of £18.75 million across the LendingCrowd platform.
LendingCrowd was named as one of the top 30 fast-growing tech startups to watch by Tech Nation in January 2019.
Modulr awarded £10m grant 🎉
We’ll be using the grant to deliver greater payment control and cost benefits to our SME and accountant clients.
— Modulr (@ModulrFinance) August 14, 2019
With offices in Edinburgh, London and Dublin, this fintech scale-up provides digital accounts which are an alternative to traditional bank accounts for business payments.
Modulr’s payment accounts are built specifically for businesses that need faster, more reliable ways to move money. Once integrated, organisations can set up as many accounts as they require and automate payments and reconciling.
The firm is helping to move billions of pounds for businesses across alternative lending, employment services, accounting platforms, fintech companies and the travel industry. Modulr reaches more than 35,000 SMEs through its partner and client network.
The company has experienced rapid growth since it was launched in January 2016 and has processed upwards of £14 billion in transactions on behalf of clients and partners, which include Sage and Revolut.
2019 has been a busy year for the fintech. In May, Modulr secured a £14 million scale-up funding package, while in August the firm announced it would expand its Edinburgh operations and create more than 50 high-quality jobs following a £10 million grant.
That’s a wrap! Thanks to all of you who came to an event, started a discussion, watched a webinar or simply checked out our pitch. Exciting times ahead for Money Dashboard and the 3489 new investors in our community. 🌍 pic.twitter.com/1rz4OYCg3m
— Money Dashboard (@moneydashboard) June 19, 2019
Money Dashboard provides online personal financial management services, enabling more than 200,000 users to view all of their online financial accounts through a single platform.
The award-winning Money Dashboard app consolidates their current accounts, credit cards and savings accounts from over 70 financial institutions, including Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, First Direct, Monzo and more.
Each bank transaction is allocated into distinct expenditure categories, which makes it easier for users to organise their finances.
In August 2019, Money Dashboard raised $4.6 million in funding, taking investment from 3,300 crowdfunding investors – marking the biggest fintech raise of the year on Crowdcube. Three months prior, the company grabbed headlines by reaching its initial target of £1.5 million in less than 45 minutes.
MoneyMatiX are delighted to have been shortlisted as a finalist at the Scottish Financial Technology Awards 25th September. We are delighted to be nominated in the Social Impact Category and evangelist category. More at https://t.co/VneHl7VJi3 #sftawards pic.twitter.com/jcxQKZb1IP
— MoneyMatiX (@MoneyMatix) August 9, 2019
Edinburgh-based MoneyMatiX provides financial capability tools for families and aims to “bring financial wellbeing to the workplace”.
The MoneyMatiX app aims to alleviate the impact and stress that financial difficulty and illiteracy has upon people and families.
Co-founders Tynah Matembe and Helene Rodger were inspired to launch the company, which is a relative newcomer to the Scottish fintech scene, based on their experiences tackling financial illiteracy within their community.
Between them, Matembe and Rodger command extensive experience in financial services, youth work and mental health, and are Saltire Fellows.
Working with financially-active youngsters, the duo found that many had little-to-no financial guidance because parents, guardians or adults in their lives were financially illiterate themselves.
The company offers a range of services, including Money Health Check, Financial Savings and Budget Finance tools. In 2017 the company won Deloitte’s Kick Start a Start-Up competition.
We are finance professionals, software engineers, project managers & compliance experts all here to help your business succeed through our unique technology & regulatory solution for online #investment 🚀 https://t.co/zFvZmuCp9I #RaiseCapitalYourWay #crowdfunding pic.twitter.com/NMfqMVos6F
— ShareIn (@sharein) January 29, 2018
ShareIn has a customizable investment platform which helps businesses and organisations raise funds through connecting with their network. The software developed by the Edinburgh-based firm guides companies through the fundraising process; helping to ensure compliance throughout the process.
The company was founded by Jude Cook and Andrew Pickett in October 2011. Since the company’s launch, it has expanded its team significantly.
In 2015, the firm secured more than £640,000 in funding and has grown to take up the largest office space at Edinburgh’s Codebase incubator.
Want to know more about managing compliance in your #creditunion? Regulations are lengthy and can easily lead you down different paths. Join us at #CUConnect where we’ll help you understand what processes you should have in place. Spaces can be booked here https://t.co/Bhu5z38sFu pic.twitter.com/lJJD4BU8Us
— Soar (@bankonsoar) September 3, 2019
Entrepreneur Andrew Duncan formed Soar in 2017 while he was leading the company’s sister firm, SwarmOnline.
Soar has developed cloud-based integrated banking platforms for use by credit unions and not-for-profit banking organisations – helping ethical institutions to analyse and manage data more securely and efficiently.
The firm says its apps are designed to “enable those in the ethical finance sector to better meet the demands of their communities”.
Since the company’s launch, Soar has grown rapidly and in 2019 secured a £450,000 Research and Development (R&D) grant from Scottish Enterprise to boost the company’s growth ambitions. Soar also works closely with credit unions and last year announced a major partnership with Glasgow Credit Union to launch its mobile and online banking services.
— Sustainably (@Sustainably) July 23, 2019
Social good technology company Sustainably officially launched this year, offering consumers a new way to give back to charity via day-to-day transactions.
Founded by mother-daughter duo, Loral and Eishel Quinn, the Sustainably app allows people to donate their spare change to a charitable cause of their choice.
The app works by rounding-up any leftover change when a user makes a cashless transaction. These digital pennies are then donated automatically on behalf of the user.
Sustainably has won the WeWork Creator Awards and is a Top 10 Virgin Startup, with both brands pledging their support for the company.
Housed at Edinburgh tech incubator, CodeBase, the company employs eight staff and has plans to expand its team.
DIGIT’s Scottish Financial Technology Awards is due to take place in Edinburgh on the 25th of September 2019. For full details, visit www.scottishftawards.com