Legal & General leads £40m investment in employee lender

By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 4 October 2017

Alternative Lending

SalaryFinance to take on Neyber in the emerging fintech battleground of financial wellbeing.

Legal & General has led a £40m debt and equity fundraise for SalaryFinance, which describes itself as an employee benefits firm. Salary Finance's founding investor and partner company Blenheim Chalcot, a digital venture builder, also participated in the round.

SalaryFinance offer loans to employees that are designed to improve their financial health and get them saving. The fintech lender’s client cover most employment sectors in the UK. Those clients include Dunelm, Timpsons, Worldpay, Ageas, E.ON and the London Borough of Hackney. The firm has agreed launches with organisations employing over 600,000 staff in the last quarter alone. It is also lending to the employees of Legal & General.

“We want to help our customers and our employees manage and improve their financial health, using technology to make it easy to access a range of great value products and services,” said Bernie Hickman, CEO of Legal & General Insurance. “I am excited by the opportunity to work in partnership with SalaryFinance to broaden out and scale up this already successful and socially useful business, improving the financial wellbeing of many more people.”

With the £40m in hand, SalaryFinance will look to foreign shores, targeting expansions into the US first and foremost, but with other geographies to follow. The firm is currently headquartered in London.

SalaryFinance has also launched its Financial Wellbeing Hub, which is a suite of financial education tools, products and services. Users can, first, get a handle on their financial position using educational content, budgeting tools and credit score checks, and, second, improve their position via salary deductible savings and what Salary Finance calls “low interest loans”. The Hub is available to employers at no cost or liability.

The model is highly similar to that employed by Neyber, another UK startup which recently raised £100m in debt and equity capital from Goldman Sachs, as an extension of its £21m series C round.

Financial wellbeing has emerged as a buzzword in 2017, driven largely by the appetites of venture capital investors. Beside Neyber and Salary Finance, Borrowell in Canada and Upgrade in the US have also raised significant amounts of money – all touting business models that are hinged to the concept of financial wellbeing/health/empowerment. 

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