Wagestream raises £15m as it battles payday lenders

By Roger Baird on Monday 20 May 2019

Digital Banking

The London-based fintech existing backers include the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

Wagestream raises £15m as it battles payday lenders
Image source: Company image

Wagestream has secured a £15m funding round to roll out its worker payment service, which the fintech claims could put payday lenders out of business.

The London-based start up has brought in cash from venture capital firms Northzone as well as Balderton, which was an early investor in digital bank Revolut and online investment manager Nutmeg.

Wagestream provides a ‘get-paid-as-you-earn’ service to workers, allowing them to withdraw their earned pay in real time, rather than wait until the end of the month.

The firm said it is “on a mission to end in-work poverty, eradicate payday loans and destroy the ‘Poverty Premium’, whereby people on low incomes pay more for a range of essential products and services such as insurance, energy, and credit”.

The firm, founded in 2018, said its service is currently used by over 120,000 employees at such companies as David Lloyd, Rentokil, Camden Town Brewery, Slug & Lettuce and Carluccio’s.

The start up has attracted a total £40m of investment, with such existing backers as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Village Global — a venture capital fund backed by Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Wagestream chief executive and co-founder Peter Briffett (pictured) said: “The antiquated monthly pay cycle inflicts huge financial damage on household finances and its days are numbered. Too many people are pushed into a corner by in-work poverty and forced into the hands of payday lenders and high-cost credit.”

Balderton Capital partner Rob Moffat added: “Companies used to take an active role in supporting the financial health of their users but this has slowly been eroded, to the extent where employees paid at the end of the month are effectively subsidising their employer for 29 days a month. Wagestream starts to restore the right balance."

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