Updraft, the financial app today announces its largest investment round to date, raising £72 million in equity and debt, to fuel its expansion and help more UK consumers on a bespoke path to financial freedom.
The funding round was led by NatWest, who provided Updraft’s inaugural senior debt facility, with the Fintech also extending its existing debt facility with specialist investment firm, Quilam Capital. This builds on an initial £16 million raise that was announced in late 2020 [and highlights Quilam Capital’s commitment and confidence in Updraft’s future trajectory].
The capital raised will support Updraft in its mission to reduce high-interest borrowings for UK consumers by helping its members avoid sticky credit card debt and the ever rising buy now, pay later burden.
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 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. This hasn’t gone unrecognised, as the feedback has translated into glowing reviews across app stores (4.5) and Trustpilot (4.9)
Updraft has served over 85,000 UK consumers looking to free themselves from expensive credit cards and overdrafts and has ambitious plans for future growth. Beyond its aim to lend £200 million to UK consumers in 2022, the Fintech continues to develop groundbreaking new features that help members break the impulse purchasing cycle and form positive habits with their money.
In addition to the recently closed £72 million debt and equity round, Updraft is also raising further equity to scale the business.
Aseem Munshi, CEO and Founder of Updraft commented: “Updraft has performed incredibly well in 2021 and we’ve seen a real acceleration in growth in just the past few months. Our customers love the solution we provide and we are determined to help even more people with this new investment.”
“This commitment from NatWest and our continuing relationship with Quilam Capital are both strong endorsements to the quality of our solution and our team. It’s an exciting time for team Updraft as we embark on the next stage of our growth.”
Rob Lamont, Director, Financial Institutions, NatWest commented: “Updraft has carved itself a niche in the Fintech space by providing users with a holistic view of their finances, and setting them on a track for future financial success by improving habits and reducing expensive borrowing. And we believe the need for this type of solution is set to grow, as consumers take more interest and more control of their money. 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.”
Sarah Watts, Director, Quilam Capital commented: “Updraft has taken great strides in the last year, ensuring that consumers have access to not only fairly priced credit, but to a platform and service with which they can make brilliant steps in their financial wellbeing. We’re delighted to continue to invest and support the business on its mission to give consumers the tools to save and reach their life goals faster.”