Atom Bank, iwoca, Modulr Finance and Currencycloud have each been awarded £10 million from the Banking Competition Remedies Board to provide lending or payment services to the UK's SMEs.
The cash award comes from the Capability and Innovation Fund Pool C, one of a four stage series of pots for disbursing £425 million in grants from the Royal Bank of Scotland bail-out fund to boost competition in the business banking market.
The BCR says it received a total of 76 applications for the Pool C process during an application window between 1 May 2019 and 28 June 2019.
Atom Bank, which has committed to spend an additional £15 million for its own offering, has pledged to roll out a series of new products for the business sector utilising smart contract technology and machine learning capabilities.
- An on-demand working capital facility (delivered in 2020);
- Unsecured term lending that responds dynamically to forecast cash flow and financial health (2020)
- •Access to lending secured over business assets (2021); and
- •Invoice discounting to provide instant access to cash tied up in outstanding invoices (2021)
Business lending startup iwoca says it will top up the £10 million grant with a further £13 million. The cash will be used to form a new partnership to gain access to the 450,000+ UK subscribers of online accounting platform Xero and open a new regional office with at least 50 staff outside London.
“Winning this grant is a huge milestone for us,” says Christoph Rieche, iwoca’s CEO and co-founder. “We’re confident that we’ll be delivering on our commitment to make £5 billion available to 150,000 SMEs by 2023."
E-money institution Modulr is also committing an extra £10m of its own funding to create over 64 regional UK jobs More than 80% of the new roles will be deployed to scale its existing Development & Operational Centre in Edinburgh