Venture capital investors continue to pile in on financial wellbeing craze as UK-based employee benefit lender raises more money.
Financial wellbeing is fast-becoming the buzzword of the online lending sector. Renaud Laplanche’s newly-launched platform Upgrade intends to blend a consumer lending platform together with a range of financial health tools. It closed a $60m Series A round in April. Canada’s Borrowell recently clinched $12m in Series A capital on the strength of a similar proposition. Now the trend is taking hold in the UK.
Neyber is a specialist platform which offers loans as an employee benefit by partnering with employers. Repayments are deducted directly from salaries – a de-risking element which the platform claims allows it to offer more affordable loans to its customers. Neyber’s existing clients include the UK Police Service, London City Airport, Anglian Water, NHS Trusts and various FTSE-listed firms.
The company has just announced the closing of a £21m Series C funding round, which was led by Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC). Wadhawan also took the lead in peer-to-peer lender Zopa’s recent £32m investment round. The Indian conglomerate is clearly enthusiastic about the prospects of UK fintech.
“WGC’s investment will enable us to accelerate our growth by adding capacity that will support our significant new contract wins, the development of our financial wellbeing offering and communication with our expanding customer base,” said Martin Ijaha, co-founder and CEO of Neyber. Prior to founding Neyber, Ijaha and his fellow co-founder Monica Kalia were investment bankers at Goldman Sachs.
Neyber has now raised a grand total of £37m in equity capital, spread across four funding rounds. Its existing investors expanded their investment in the company as part of the Series C. Henry Ritchotte, formerly chief operating officer at Deutsche Bank, led the firm’s £7.5m Series B.
Neyber officially launched at the start of 2016, in tandem to closing its £6m Series A fundraise. The company has advised that it will soon be rolling out a new proposition which will allow employees to save directly from their salary.
Kapil Wadhawan, chairman of WGC, commented on the Series C investment: “Neyber is built on the model of community-based financial empowerment through fair and just lending, something that resonates with our founders’ philosophy. Through this investment, we aim to scale their business and learning to similar markets around the world.”