A ‘fintech for good’ start-up 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 Yorkshire-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 is supporting 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.