Finance

20 leaders in digital finance you need to know

By Kitty Knowles 21 July 2017
Summary

They've each just been awarded £50,000.

Confused by your investments? Struggling to save? Maybe you just want a bank account that actually works for your lifestyle.

Lucky for you, there’s a wave of new digital businesses racing to improve your financial life, and 20 of them just got a £50,000 boost from British innovation foundation Nesta.

Each has been selected to take part in the Open Up Challenge because they’re transforming finance for small businesses. And they range from mobile bank Tide, to freelancer-first bank Coconut; and Duedil, the go-to source for financial info about businesses.

You don’t need to be a banker to see how these smart businesses are shaping the world’s wallets for the better.

Let us introduce you…

James Williams and Xavier Wilders, Founders at Beyond Labs, Pic: BeyondLabs

Beyond Labs

Founded by James Williams and Xavier Wilders in 2013, Beyond is changing the ways that companies budget by allowing all employees to track their expenses in real time.

Who doesn’t want the flexibility to reallocate their business spending as and when they need?

Beyond Labs

Edward Maslaveckas, CEO at Bud, Pic: Kantox

Bud Financial

Launched in 2015, Bud lets you bundle all your bank accounts, credit cards and investments into one place to better keep track of your finances.

Co-founders Edward Maslaveckas and George Dunning want Bud to meet all your financial needs, while offering you personal advice.

Bud

Coconut co-founders Sam O'Connor and Adam Goddall

Coconut Banking

Co-founders Sam O’Connor and Adam Goodall launched the Coconut app in 2016, as a haven for freelancers and the self-employed to manage their expenses, pay, and taxes.

It’s going to bring the independence back into freelancing.

Read more: Coconut: The life-saving bank for freelancers?

Alessio Balduini, CEO at Credit Data Research, Pic: Bancaforte

Credit Data Research

Alessio Balduini founded Credit Data Research in 2013 as a ‘big brother’ to small and medium-sized businesses.

It not only aims to help you get better access to funding, but supports you to better manage your relationships with business partners and customers.

With offices in London and Milan, they’re also vying to ease your transition into foreign markets.

Credit Data Research

Damian Kimmelman, CEO DueDil.

DueDil

Co-founded by Damian Kimmelman and Justin Fitzpatrick back in 2011, DueDil has 2 goals: to help businesses find new customers and to help you manage risk.

Find out just how Kimmelman gets everything done in our article How To Boss It Like… Damian Kimmelman.

Duedil

Paul Surtees and Ollie Maitland, Founders of Capitalise, Pic: Techonthego

Capitalise

Co-founders Paul Surtees and Ollie Maitland launched Capitalise in 2015 to take the pain out of business loans. 

The online tool lets you compare different loans clearly and find the right lender for you. 

Capitalise

Nicholas Heller, CEO at Fractal Labs, Pic: Fractal Labs

Fractal Labs

Nicholas Heller and Andreas Signer want to be your PA. Or rather, they want their company Fractal Labs to be your PA.

Founded in 2014, this is automated assistant sifts through your business data and flags any blind-spots to give your greater insight into your finances.

Fractal Labs

Caroline Plumb, CEO at Fluidly, Pic: Freshminds

Fluidly

Founders Caroline Plumb and Dom Barker, also want to lighten the load with a digital assistant. 

Set to launch in 2017, Fluidly is a virtual finance manager that manages your cashflow so you can focus more on making your business the best. 

Fluidly

Conrad Ford, CEO at Funding Options, Pic: Talentedge

Funding Options

Conrad Ford founded Funding Options in 2012 to personalise the process of business loans.

It compares different lenders so you can find the best fit.

Funding Options

Katrin Herrling, CEO at Funding Xchange, Pic: Privátbankár

Funding Xchange

In 2014 Katrin Herrling and Olivier Beau de Loménie founded Funding Xchange in London.

It not only helps you shops around for the best lender, but allows funders to compete for the chance to fulfil your loan.

Funding Xchange

Greg Carter, CEO at Growth Street, Pic: Startups

Growth Street

Founded by Greg Carter and Oliver Shapleski in 2013, Growth Street offers borrowing and lending opportunities for new businesses. 

The Growth Street forecasting tool also acts as a crystal ball for your business so you can see 90 days ahead and make smarter decisions.

Growth Street

Olly Betts, CEO at Bizfitech, Pic: TheBusinessDesk

Handle

Developed by Olly Betts (co-founder of the Bizfitech group) Handle means you can finally start to give a damn about your bad reputation. 

The app shows you what other people see before they make the decision to partner with you.

Smart founders always make sure they show their best selves.

Handle

Siim Maivel, CEO at Investly, Pic: Äripäev

Investly

Siim Maivel, created this British-Estonian business to help you get paid faster. 

It allows the money from your invoices to be invested instantly – no more waiting for long-term agreements with banks.

Investly

Christoph Rieche, CEO at Iowca, Pic: Iowca

Iwoca

Whether you’re looking to bridge a short-term cashflow hole, or looking to invest in stock, Iwoca can help.

Christoph Rieche and James Dear founded the business in 2012 to offer instant funding without any nasty paperwork.

Iwoca

Martin Campbell, CEO at Ormsby Street, Pic: LinkedIn

Ormsby Street

Founded in 2014 by CEO Martin Campbell, Ormsby Street’s credit checkers and business calculators give you the clear facts so you can sleep at night.

You never knew how much you wanted a ‘Business Survival Calculator’ until now.

Ormsby Street

Runpath

Launched in London in 2009 and led by CEO Saul DevineRunpath produce tools are tackling everything from home to banking to insurance.

A company that has you and your business at heart. 

Runpath

Sonny Sood, founder Solo

Solo

Sonny Sood launched his freelancers companion Solo earlier this year. 

It acts as a management diary tool that keeps track of your jobs, files, and notes in one private place.

Solo

Stevie Graham, Founder of Teller, Pic: APIdays

Teller

Fed up of juggling customer bank accounts? So is Stevie Graham.

That’s why, in 2014, he founded Teller to let you link all your users’ bank accounts. 

Move money, make payments, and view transactions with ease.

Teller

George Bevis, CEO at Tide, Pic: BankNXT

Tide

Founded by George Bevis 2015, Tide can fix your broken business banking

Run your business from your phone or the web, with no monthly fees, and integration with fab accounting systems like Xero and FreeAgent.

Tide

Paul Roiter & Phillip Watts, Founders of Xelix, Pic: Wired UK

Xelix

Fed up of having all your money tied up in your supply chain?

Xelix, created by Paul Roiter and Phillip Watts, sets this free. Who doesn’t want increased cashflow and better opportunities? 

Xelix