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London fintech Updraft raises £108M to offer customers their financial freedom

London fintech Updraft raises

Updraft, the London-based financial app, has raised £108 million Series A funding round in debt and equity to help fuel its growth.

NatWest, who led Updraft‘s last £72m debt and equity round, is leading the debt portion of this latest raise, while LC Nueva, Auluk Investments, and Faber Capital are leading the equity portion. Recently, the firm also backed Oneiro Solutions and BuiltAI in their funding rounds. 

Founded in 2017 by Aseem Munshi, Matt Millar, and David Yalland, utilising Open Banking technology, Updraft builds a full picture of a users’ spending on credit cards, overdrafts, loans and recently introduced Buy-now pay later (BNPL) products. Updraft’s technology harnesses behaviour science and machine learning to deliver human, empathic and mindful experiences to help its members make changes that pay off in the long term.

Another more subtle reason for Updraft’s growth has been its throwback approach to service; serving all members with jargon-free advice and conversations through a flexible in-app messaging platform. 

With this latest fundraise, the company will be able to grow its team and customer base, as well as invest in new features and products. 

In addition to the recently closed investment rounds, Updraft has been busy “acquiring experienced talent. The company has recently hired Suzanne Yeow, Chief Marketing Officer from HSBC, Cath Ready, Chief Compliance and Operational Risk Officer from New Day, and Ashish Saksena, Chief Financial Officer, who has worked in investment banking at Barclays.

Aseem Munshi, CEO and Founder of Updraft, commented: “We are thrilled to close this latest round of funding, where our debt and equity partners have demonstrated their belief in Updraft’s team and our mission, particularly in the current macroeconomic environment. It is a testament to what Updraft is trying to do; provide real solutions to customers to help them find their financial freedom. We have big ambitions planned for 2023, and this recent fundraiser puts us in a great position to help even more people.”

Rob Lamont, Director, Financial Institutions, NatWest, said: “As a leading bank for financial capability, NatWest is pleased to be supporting a business that improves financial outcomes for consumers in the UK, and Updraft does just this. Supplementing succinct user and lending growth strategies with the use of best-in-class risk models that outperform bureau-based credit risk models, we are confident with Updraft’s growth momentum. They are, thus far, on track against all key measures where growth in new users, new lending, balance sheet, revenue, write-offs, and overall net margin are all to plan.”

Paul Maurici, Managing Director, Wholesale, HTB, added: “Financial wellness has become more important than ever. So, we are delighted to support Updraft’s mission to help people better understand their finances and reduce their most expensive, sticky debt. HTB aims to help innovative, responsible lenders grow and serve their customer base. We are excited to work with such an experienced management team and look forward to being part of Updraft’s growth story.”

Sohil Chand, Founding Partner & CIO of LC Nueva AIF, stated: “We are excited by Updraft’s vision, energy, commitment and depth of the team, and the traction they are poised to gain in helping users manage their finances better by reducing expensive debts. LC Nueva AIF is committed to partnering with Updraft to help them achieve their vision. Our first-hand experience with Updraft and the value its market-leading financial solution to re-invent unsecured lending delivers, drove our decision to invest.”

Kieren Auluk, Executive Director, Auluk Investments, remarked: “The market is large and growing with expensive balances like credit card, overdraft and BNPL now hitting above the £50B mark in the UK. There is a compelling case for a solution which helps people reduce high-interest revolving debt and sets them on a path to financial freedom. Updraft is meeting a real market need, delivered through a best-in-class platform encompassing technology, customer centricity, and data. Updraft’s explosive growth speaks for itself, and we are delighted to lead their Series A funding.”

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