North West fintechs part of latest Tech Nation growth programme

Two North West companies are included in the fifth Tech Nation fintech growth programme .

Numbering 51 in total, this is the programme’s largest cohort to date.

Tech Nation is the UK’s key growth platform for tech scale-ups which aims to assist fintech entrepreneurs to enable their start-ups to scale, both at home and abroad.

The two companies from the region involved in the latest iteration of the programme are Collctiv and DebStream.

Collctiv, based in Manchester, makes it easy for social organisers to collect and spend group money.

By understanding how a group of friends or colleagues functions – and by putting the organiser at the centre of everything – the service makes it much more likely that the organiser will collect all the required money for a group purchase or booking. The contributors of the group don’t have to do any banking, download another app, create an account or even go to a cash machine, they just simply tap/scan to pay in less than five seconds, with no account set-up, and no banking.

Chester-based DebtStream is a digital ‘self-service’ debt collections platform offered through software-as-a-service, enabling any businesses carrying credit, such as debt collection agencies, lenders, and utilities providers, to engage with their customers online under their own brand.

The platform enables clients to engage with their customers in a compliant, non-threatening or imposing manner, while reducing operational costs and increasing revenue.

Amy Whitell, co-founder and CEO of Collctiv, said: “We were over the moon to be accepted onto Tech Nation FinTech 5.0 programme. The Tech Nation team has already been such a support throughout the early stages of our company, and we’re looking forward to being part of a group of inspiring fintechs all learning together.”

Gareth Bailey, CEO and co-founder of DebtStream, said: “We are proud to be recognised as a leading player in the UK’s fintech space as part of the Fintech 5.0 cohort of companies. Fintech 5.0 is about giving us the tools and knowledge to scale.

“This programme will help us gain great insight and guidance from successful Fintech entrepreneurs, supporting us as we continue to lead the way to change debt collection with a digital first approach.”

Companies accepted into the newest fintech cohort are working to transform all areas of the finance sector, from insurance and investment, to blockchain and digital assets.

The Fintech 5.0 cohort includes an ethical investment platform which is committed to addressing climate emergency (Abundance), a credit card that helps young people build credit to jumpstart their futures (Keebo), and a platform to help people set up a Will and digital end-of-life plan to make things easier for loved ones left behind (Kinherit).

Together, the new fintech companies have raised more funds than any cohort in previous years, with a collective total raise of £149.2m, up from £128.1m last year.

Nearly half (49%) of the companies have at least one non-British founder, and they operate across 38 different countries, including the UK.

This year’s successful applicants will gain access to multiple insight sessions over six months, covering core issues, from investment to sales, partnerships and international expansion, delivered by later-stage founders, all focused on key scaling challenges, as well as regular networking opportunities, with investors, VCs, corporates and peers.

Will Miller, chief growth officer at Tech Nation, said: “In 2022, we have seen another wave of fintech start-up and scaleup companies thrive in all regions of the UK.

“With quarter one 2022 setting an all-time record for quarterly VC investment into UK fintech, and the UK now being home to 47 fintech ‘unicorns’ – with four new fintech unicorns created this year alone – it’s clear that the UK’s fintech sector is going from strength to strength.

“It’s a pleasure to support these businesses along their scaling journey as they continue to cement the UK as a global fintech powerhouse.”