Sifted’s Amy Lewin discusses the fintechs disrupting business banking with Augmentum’s Tim Levene and Tide‘s Oliver Prill, amongst others.

 

“Digital bank startups aren’t just coming for personal current accounts. They’re after the business banking market too.

Why? Because there’s big money to be made — £14bn in the UK alone — and what’s on offer from traditional banks is universally acknowledged to be a right pain in the ass. It’s slow, it’s expensive, and it’s way behind on digitalisation.

Enter the startups. In the UK, the main contenders are Tide (focused solely on SMEs, small or medium-sized companies) and Starling (which has retail accounts as well). In France, the big player is Qonto. In Germany, there’s Penta and Hufsy(which is actually based in Denmark). In Norway, Aprila. For “micro-businesses” of 1-10 people, there’s Holvi in Finland, Coconut, Anna and CountingUp in the UK, and Shine in France.

Sifted looks into the numbers behind the leading players, asks who is winning the race to disrupt business banking and discovers how much the incumbent banks really have to fear.

So why do traditional banks offer such a terrible service to SME customers? “A lot of these small businesses are unprofitable for the big banks,” says Tim Levene, partner at London-based fintech VC Augmentum, and an investor in Tide. “They don’t have the infrastructure to serve them in a cost efficient way, so the service offering, from a digital point of view, left a lot to be desired.””

Read the full article here.

Georgie Hazell

Georgie heads up engagement at Augmentum, which involves supporting portfolio companies, engaging with investors and the wider fintech ecosystem (including marketing and events), and supporting the team internally.

Georgie has worked in a number of startups across people, strategy and growth leadership positions. Following her MBA and a consultancy project with Crowdcube, Georgie moved into venture capital.

Passionate about diversity and inclusion, particularly in VC and entrepreneurship, Georgie founded women in tech network Elevate, led on UK expansion for Her Campus Media, volunteers with Diversity VC and mentored with The Girls Network.

Ellen Logan

Ellen is an Investment Associate at Augmentum. She previously worked at OC&C Strategy Consultants and at HR analytics startup Bunch. Ellen studied Economics at the University of Edinburgh.

Outside of the office she spends her time practicing yoga, experimenting in the kitchen and exploring the art galleries of London.

Learn more about Ellen in her ‘Meet the Team’ blog here

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Sofia Wiecko

Sofia oversees the financial and administrative operations at Augmentum and has over 15 years’ experience in financial accounting.

Believing in giving back to the community, Sofia is active in a number of local charities.

Hayley Manning

Hayley is Augmentum’s Office Manager and PA. Prior to working at Augmentum, Hayley worked at law firm Stephenson Harwood.

Nigel Szembel

Nigel leads Public Relations and Investor Relations at Augmentum. Nigel has had an international career in corporate affairs, communications and investor relations which, over 30 years, has included responsibility for UK, regional (EMEA and Latin America) and global functions; covering high-profile public companies, private companies, prominent individuals and public bodies, primarily in the financial services sector but also taking in consumer/fashion, planning policy, arts and the environment.

Akash Bajwa

Akash is an Investment Analyst at Augmentum Fintech. Prior to joining Augmentum, Akash worked at the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, Barclays Ventures and Deloitte. Akash studied Accounting and Finance at Cass Business School.

Outside of work, Akash enjoys writing a blog on trends in technology and venture capital and volunteering for networks that support more investment in impact-driven companies in the private markets. Akash always looks forward to reading great books and playing tennis with friends as a way to unwind.

 

Learn more about Akash in his ‘Meet the Team’ blog here.