FINANCIAL management app Bud and peer-to-peer lender Growth Street are among the 20 winners of Nesta’s £5m fintech prize.
The Open Up Challenge, launched by the innovation foundation, was designed to encourage fintech firms to create apps and tools to help small businesses compete in the digital economy, using the new banking data being made available from 2018. Open banking is designed to break the big banks’ stronghold on customer data, enabling third parties to access it on an anonymised basis.
Each winner will get a cash grant of £50,000 this month, followed by the chance to compete for more money, including a final prize pot of £2m in September 2018.
“Bud is delighted to be involved with the Nesta Open Up Challenge,” said Jamie Campbell, head of customer experience at Bud.
“We will be building a full SME-specific version of Bud complete with a custom insights and benchmarking feature and dedicated SME financial service marketplace which will include accountancy software, currency exchange, payroll and finance solutions.”
Campbell added that the app would be available for banks as a white label product and that it is already in high demand.
“Fintechs in the marketplace will benefit from huge customer distribution almost overnight,” he said.
Meanwhile, business finance platform Growth Street has recently launched its first cash flow forecasting tool, to make it easier for small businesses to manage their finances.
Greg Carter, Growth Street’s chief executive, said they were delighted to have won the challenge.
“Growth Street was founded to give small businesses the tools to grow,” he said. “The Open Up Challenge will give us early access to the coming revolution of open banking, allowing us to develop a new range of tools for our customers. We’ll carry on our work to help the UK’s small businesses prosper.”
Other winners of the Open Up Challenge include Funding Options, Funding Xchange and Handle by Bizfitech – the three business finance aggregators chosen by the Treasury to be part of the bank referral scheme.
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