Portfolio

By the end of 2018, the Open Up Challenge will have awarded £4.5m in equity-free funding to 25 financial technology companies.

The products and services we've backed reflect the breadth of innovation in financial technology for small businesses:

  • personalised comparison services to find best-value bank accounts and loans;
  • intelligent cashflow management tools;
  • ‘credit passports’ updated in real time;
  • streamlined access to invoice financing and other alternative credit sources;
  • simplified bookkeeping and automated completion of tax returns;
  • AI bots answering financial questions in natural language;
  • collaborative budgeting tools;
  • trade intelligence and automation tools; and
  • marketplaces enabling small businesses to plug into even more fintech apps.


All of these products and services depend on access to financial data, and many, with support from the Challenge, are integrating open banking data into their offerings. The result will be a more competitive market, one in which UK small businesses are better able to save time, money and stress, access finance, manage risk and grow revenue.

Keep reading for more information about each fintech company which has participated in the Challenge.

2018 Finalists

Akoni, in partnership with Coriolis Technologies, is combining trade, company, market, ratings, bank and product data to provide SMEs with an SME Trade Intelligence solution. This solution will integrate with the existing cash, savings and corporate membership solutions on the Akoni platform.

Bokio is a proactive assistant for SME companies which automatically takes care of day-to-day administration, invoicing, accounting, VAT etc, and helps companies to form better decisions for the future, free of charge.

Bud is the financial network that intelligently connects banks, fintechs and customers together. Bud’s tech makes it easy for banks to collaborate with other service providers to create amazing new experiences for both their existing and new customers.

Capitalise provides smart tools to accountants & business advisers to access capital for their SME clients in minutes from 100+ lenders. As of April 2018, over 1,000 accountants use Capitalise.com to help UK business builders avoid the trap of being left with limited, last minute financial solutions - if any at all.

Coconut is a current account for freelancers and self-employed people that keeps track of your expenses and how much tax you owe. Coconut helps small businesses manage cashflow with confidence by automating their accounting, save money on their tax bill and get access to financial products that are right for them.

Credit Data Research is the market leader in credit behavioural analysis. Active in five European countries, CDR brings new scoring solutions for SMEs and consumers. The company’s Basel compliant Credit Passport® platform leverages credit behavioural data through Open Banking, increasing transparency and competition.

Finpoint is the UK's trusted business funding platform. SMEs using the Finpoint platform prepare one application and publish it anonymously. This saves precious time while allowing SMEs to find finance on a whole of market basis.

Fluidly is an Intelligent Cashflow engine - its technology plugs into accounting packages and bank accounts and uses machine learning to predict and optimise business finances. Fluidly helps SMEs to sleep better at night by providing tools to intelligently manage cashflow.

Funding Circle is the global small business loans platform, matching businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands. To date, 45,000 businesses have accessed £4.5bn through the platform.

Funding Options is Europe's leading online marketplace for business finance, each year raising £100m+ in vital finance, for thousands of UK SMEs, from 50+ active lenders. Funding Options scans the market to find the financing options that best suit a small business' needs.

OpenWrks builds the technology that makes Open Banking work. Their toolkit makes it easy for people to securely share financial information with the businesses they trust, so those businesses can deliver better, more personalised products and services.

Swoop is a one-stop money shop for small businesses. Swoop simplifies and speeds up the process businesses go through to access grants, debt and equity. Swoop analyses every opportunity on the market across lenders, investors and grant providers to find the best finance for your business in seconds.

2017 Prize Winners

Bud is the financial network that intelligently connects banks, fintechs and customers together. Bud’s tech makes it easy for banks to collaborate with other service providers to create amazing new experiences for both their existing and new customers.

Capitalise provides smart tools to accountants & business advisers to access capital for their SME clients in minutes from 100+ lenders. As of April 2018, over 1,000 accountants use Capitalise.com to help UK business builders avoid the trap of being left with limited, last minute financial solutions - if any at all.

Coconut is a current account for freelancers and self-employed people that keeps track of your expenses and how much tax you owe. Coconut helps small businesses manage cashflow with confidence by automating their accounting, save money on their tax bill and get access to financial products that are right for them.

Credit Data Research is the market leader in credit behavioural analysis. Active in five European countries, CDR brings new scoring solutions for SMEs and consumers. The company’s Basel compliant Credit Passport® platform leverages credit behavioural data through Open Banking, increasing transparency and competition.

Fluidly is an Intelligent Cashflow engine - its technology plugs into accounting packages and bank accounts and uses machine learning to predict and optimise business finances. Fluidly helps SMEs to sleep better at night by providing tools to intelligently manage cashflow.

Fractal is an automated financial assistant for small businesses. It interprets all of your data like a finance professional, identifies blind-spots and provides timely insights.

Funding Options is Europe's leading online marketplace for business finance, each year raising £100m+ in vital finance, for thousands of UK SMEs, from 50+ active lenders. Funding Options scans the market to find the financing options that best suit a small business' needs.

Handle shows small businesses their entire digital profile: website, social media, customer feedback, credit score & financials all in one place.‍

iwoca is breaking down barriers for small business by offering fast, flexible access to credit. Apply online and get approved for up to £150,000 within minutes.

Teller enables applications to connect with all their users' bank accounts across institutions, providing one easy to use API to move money, make payments, view transactions, and more.

2017 Finalists

Beyond transforms how businesses budget - making it real-time and collaborative.

DueDil online platform and API helps companies find opportunities and mitigate risks, by accessing the richest source of private company information on over 50m companies.

Funding Xchange makes it easy for businesses to compare competing quotes from a range of over 45 finance providers.

Growth Street offers GrowthLine - a revolving line of credit just like an overdraft - and free cashflow forecasting.

Investly is an invoice finance platform that enables small businesses to easily upload invoices and get paid with the best rates fast.

Ormsby Street is behind CreditHQ, which helps businesses know whether they are trading with the best customers and suppliers, and whether they'll get paid on time.

Runpath powers great tools designed to help people use their money better. The Platform services are distributed by their clients to end-consumers through ever evolving propositions.

Solo was acquired during the Challenge by Bluechain, a P2P mobile payments technology that allows users to use their preferred source of funding in any payment scenario and benefit from strong customer authentication.

Tide is a business account that makes banking a breeze, saving small businesses time so they can get back to doing what they love.

Xelix manages the process of early settlement discount across the whole supply chain. Buyers upload approved invoices and its intuitive platform does the rest.

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