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Updraft raises £108m in debt and equity

Source: Updraft

Financial habit forming platform, Updraft, announces today its latest investment round, raising another £108 million in equity and debt to power its ambitious growth strategy and deliver savings to its fast-growing user base of 300k members.

The senior debt funding round of £100 million was led by NatWest, with Hampshire Trust Bank also joining to create a £160m senior debt facility for the business.

LC Nueva and Auluk Investment led equity funding of £8 million. Several other prominent investors in this round included David Callard, Majlis Investments, and Faber Capital.

Updraft combines smart algorithms, open banking and credit reference data to build a complete picture of a person’s financial profile. It then gives bespoke recommendations to establish practical and beneficial finance habits and effective routes to pay off borrowings.

This latest raise will support the business in the growth of its team and customer base, as well as investment into new features and products. With Updraft Credit lending already at £120 million, the business has just launched a phased rollout of its latest initiative to help members; Updraft Payce – a reusable limit to turn credit card purchases into cheaper, faster, flexible payoff plans.

In addition to the recently closed investment rounds, Updraft has been busy acquiring experienced talent. Recent hires include Suzanne Yeow, who joins as Chief Marketing Officer from HSBC, Cath Ready as Chief Compliance and Operational Risk Officer from New Day, and Ashish Saksena, who joins as Chief Financial Officer with previous investment banking experience at Barclays.

The fintech has already set its sights on its next funding round as it plans to open its Series B soon. With the newly available debt capital and an ambition to build a £1 billion business over the next five years, the company remains laser-focused on its mission to help more people in the UK and to expand into new markets.

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, commented: “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, commented: “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, commented: “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, commented: “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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