The FinTech Five – 8th October 2021

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Welcome to the FinTech Five, the part of the week where we take a closer look at the best articles, news, and features from over the past week from our FinTech Wales members.

1. Scaleup Sonovate exceeds £2bn funding milestone as contract working trend continues to accelerate

First this week, Sonovate, a Fintech lender that provides embedded finance and technology services to businesses that engage contract and freelance workers, has surpassed £2 billion in total funding during September 2021.

This latest milestone has been achieved four times faster than the time taken to fund the first billion pounds. Alongside this reaching this latest milestone, Sonovate has achieved its most successful month yet in September, achieving £67 million in funding, a full £10million ahead of its previous best month.

Over 30,000 freelancers, contractors and gig workers in more than 40 countries have now received payments from over 3,000 businesses funded by Sonovate. The average duration of new contract placements submitted for Sonovate funding increased by almost 50% in the first six months of 2021, further indicating the fast-growing and global shift in preference by businesses and individuals alike towards more flexible, contract-based working. 

Sonovate, which began funding businesses to pay their temporary workers in 2013, is one of the fastest growing business finance lenders in the UK, providing embedded finance services to recruitment businesses, consultancies and labour marketplaces of all sizes. Since the start of 2020, the lender has onboarded more than 500 new clients, including a record number of enterprise businesses. In the same period, it onboarded a record number of small and medium sized businesses outside of the recruitment sector, while continuing to broaden its reach in the recruitment space – its primary vertical.

Richard Prime, co-founder and co-CEO at Sonovate, said: 

“Since the start of 2021, we’ve closed a new deal with a business customer almost every single working day – helping hundreds more companies across Europe, Asia and the US to pay their people on time, every time. During the pandemic, our team worked tirelessly to remove barriers to growth and solve cash flow and working capital issues for thousands of businesses. During the pandemic we were able to double our funding volume and onboard hundreds more new clients making this past September a record month for the business for funding performance.” 

Read the full article on UKTN’s website, here. 

2. Trust Payments Joins Innovate Finance’s Global Fintech Community

Next, Trust Payments, the payments technology group, have announced that it has become a high growth member of Innovate Finance, the independent industry body that represents and advances the global FinTech community in the UK. 

By joining Innovate Finance, Trust Payments continues to expand its presence in the FinTech community and network with the next generation of technology-led innovators including seed-stage startups and global financial institutions, investors, professional services firms, and global FinTech hubs.

Trust Payments has joined the Innovate Finance ecosystem with over 250+ members. The support received from the industry body will connect Trust Payments to new partners on a larger scale, allowing them the opportunity to engage with new partners. Members have access to benefits designed to advance their networking, recognition in the FinTech community and promote their profile.

By joining Innovative Finance’s ‘High Growth’ membership, Trust Payments looks to further its presence internationally through new connections and networks. Daniel Holden, CEO of Trust Payments, commented,

“By joining Innovative Finance, we seek to gain from valuable connections and new partnerships in the industry as well as to increase awareness about Trust Payments to the wider FinTech community.”

Read the full announcement on Trust Payments’ website, here.

3. Yoello, the ‘multi award-winning global business that helped hospitality keep going through Covid’ featured in Wales Online 

Next this week, Yoello, the ‘multi award-winning global business that helped hospitality keep going through Covid’, have been featured in a Wales Online article. 

The article reads “Around four years ago, Sina Yamani took the plunge and dropped out of Cardiff University to follow his dreams of starting his own business…

All he knew was that he wanted to create something to help his friends in the hospitality industry thrive. And despite having no background in business, that’s exactly what he did. In 2018 he began launching his mobile ordering service, Yoello.

Before the coronavirus pandemic the Cardiff -based business started small, but through lockdowns it skyrocketed and is now used by hospitality companies in the US, Canada, Australia, Spain and France as well as in the UK. Since it officially launched in 2019, it has secured numerous awards including the prestigious Wales Start Up of the Year award.

Yoello is an app-free platform where the customer can scan a QR code or type in a URL on their mobile phone to order and pay at venues without having to pay in person

You might be familiar with Yoello if you’ve ever been to Depot in Cardiff and paid for food or drinks using your mobile. It was also used by Cardiff Council when they erected The Castle Quarter Café opposite Cardiff Castle in summer 2020. It was a bid to support local businesses who hadn’t been able to trade indoors during lockdown. Within the first 10 days of trade, it processed just over a quarter of a million pounds in sales.”

Sina Yamani, Yoello’s founder, credits supportive people in the Welsh capital and his dedicated employees for his company’s success, commenting:

“Without all these amazing people in Cardiff, we wouldn’t have success, we wouldn’t have a company, the products or the ideas”

Read the full article on Wales Online’s website, here. 

4. CEO Louise O’Shea to speak at Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo Virtual

Next, CEO Louise O’Shea has been announced as a speaker at Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo Virtual, taking place on the 13th and 14th October 2021. 

Women in Business & Tech Expo Virtual, 13-14 October is a two-day online event designed for all women at any stage of their career. It provides inspiration, guidance and business services to find a perfect career match or support a business.

Women in Business & Tech Expo Virtual offers visitors the opportunity to:

  • find an employer that encourages female leadership
  • Progress in tech or enter the field
  • Support an existing business
  • Launch a new business or franchise
  • Discover opportunities when returning to work after a career break

Click here for more information on the event or to purchase tickets. 

5. The Open University Successfully Secures bid for Degree Apprenticeships in Applied Software Engineering in Wales

Last but not least this week, The Open University (OU) in Wales has secured a bid to continue offering funded places on its Degree Apprenticeship in Applied Software Engineering.

The Degree Apprenticeship programme is available to employers across Wales in the public and private sectors. It is suitable for new and existing staff who work in digital and technology roles and who spend most of their working hours in Wales. The programme is funded by the Welsh Government through the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

Delivered flexibly around the needs of the organisation, the Degree Apprenticeship programme can be used to upskill employees or recruit new talent into a business through academic and work-based learning. There are no formal entry requirements and apprentices are fully supported by an OU Practice Tutor in the workplace and online. After completing the course, apprentices achieve a BSc (Hons) in Applied Software Engineering.

The Open University’s new intake of degree apprentices in Wales will start in October of this year, and February 2022. They will be the sixth and seventh cohorts of apprentices to enrol on the programme since its launch in 2019. 

Louise Casella, Director of the OU in Wales commented: 

“We are really pleased to be able to continue to support the demand from employers in Wales to help develop their staff. Degree apprentices across Wales are studying flexibly with the OU to upskill and help meet the needs of their organisations. Skill shortages in software engineering still exist, that’s why investing in this area is so important to our economic recovery.”

Read the full article on The Open University’s Website here, or click here to find out more about the OU Degree Apprenticeships in Wales. 

Until Next Week

And that’s it for the FinTech Five this week. Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to join us next week for more of the best content from across our FinTech Wales membership.

If you want to join our dynamic FinTech Wales community, then click here to learn more about the exclusive benefits FinTech Wales membership has to offer.