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Start up nets $20m from HSBC and Goldman to double Open Banking drive

UK firm Bud said it plans to double in size over the coming year.

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A UK fintech start up has landed $20m (£15.3m) of cash from a range of banks including HSBC and Goldman Sachs, as it plans to double in size and push into new markets.

Bud allows a range of banks to use its platform to create apps and services, which means that customers can manage all of their financial products within their main banking app.

The London-based start up, founded in 2015, said the aim of the business is “simplifying people’s finances by connecting their different financial products and service providers with their bank”.

The young firm said the cash call is “one of the largest European Series A rounds in recent years”.

Other notable investors in the business include Lord Stanley Fink, the former chief executive of hedge fund Man Group, and private equity fund 9Yards Capital, which is advised by former chancellor and Evening Standard editor George Osborne.

The firm said it will use the cash to double the 62 staff at its London head office “within the next year”, adding that it plans to launch into new markets over the same period.

Currently, the business works with 85 financial partners, ranging from young fintech businesses such as Wealthify and PensionBee to established players such as insurer Hiscox and stockbroker AJ Bell.

Bud co-founder and chief executive Ed Maslaveckas (pictured, left) said: “The investment proves that banks are looking seriously at how open banking can evolve beyond what regulation requires into something that genuinely puts customers first. We are on the cusp of a major cultural shift.”

He added: “People are beginning to understand the value that their personal data holds, they’re taking more control and ownership of it, and they’re using it to achieve more. Empowered like this, they are starting to demand more from the institutions that serve them, and in the process, to open the doors to a financial system that gives them control over their lives.”

Bud operates under Open Banking, Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and application programming interface (API) rules.

A change in European Union law at the start of the year has ushered in Open Banking, which means consumers can allow businesses, other than their bank, to access their financial data.

Advocates say this potentially allows customers to get better deals, such as cheaper overdrafts, and speed up switching between banks.

HSBC’s head of digital at retail banking and wealth management Raman Bhatia joins the board at Bud as part of the investment.

Bhatia said: “Since the start of our partnership with Bud back in 2017, we've been impressed with the team's approach to innovation. They have helped to shape our approach to Open Banking, working with us to deliver services that makes banking easier for our customers. They stand out as motivated by their mission to help people have a better relationship with financial services.”  

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