FUNDING Circle has been named one of 12 finalists in a nationwide fintech competition targeting small business banking.
Run by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, the finalists will participate in the last phase of the Open Up Challenge – a £2.5m prize fund backing the next generation of financial technology for small businesses.
As well as small business peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle, the finalists include small business funding aggregators Funding Options and Swoop; Open Banking technology provider OpenWrks; and personal finance app Bud.
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The finalists, who were selected by an independent judging panel, will each receive a £100,000 grant, access to Open Banking data and support to bring their products to market. Five or six of the finalists will go on to win a further £200,000 each at the end of the year.
The challenge is part of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) package of remedies to shake up the UK retail banking market.
The competition searched for teams building innovative products and services that will help small businesses save time and money, find better services, reduce stress and discover the intelligence in their financial data.
Chris Gorst, challenge prize lead at Nesta, said over the course of the next six months the organisation is looking for the 12 teams to build and take to market solutions that will have the greatest impact on UK small businesses.
John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, added: “The UK is leading the way in fintech and the challenge is yet another great example of our entrepreneurs and regulators coming together to tackle new challenges and revolutionise how people and businesses manage their money.”
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