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Nesta selects the 20 fintech start-ups that will shape the ‘open banking’ revolution

Duedil, Iwoca and Ormsby Street will receive a £50,000 grant, technical and business support as part of £5m prize fund Open Up Challenge

Innovation foundation Nesta has revealed the 20 companies that will take part in its Open Up Challenge and help to shape the next generation of services, apps and tools designed for the UK’s small businesses.

Announced in March 2017, the £5m prize fund has asked participants to use new open banking Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to transform the way UK small businesses access and use financial services.

As well as a £50,000 grant, the 20 teams will receive technical and business support and exclusive access to the Open Up Data Sandbox, which contains anonymised UK banking transaction datasets. Companies that are successful during the challenge will have the opportunity to win a share of a further £3.5m in funding.

The cohort includes Young Gun-founded and Startups 100-featured Duedil, the free to access database of UK company financials; Funding Xchange, the alternative funding comparison site; Startups Awards-nominated business finance provider Iwoca, and Startups Awards-nominated credit checking tool Ormsby Street.

The full list of participants is:

  • Beyond Labs
  • Bud Financial
  • Coconut Banking
  • Credit Data Research Ltd
  • DueDil
  • Fractal Labs
  • Fluidly
  • Funding Options
  • Funding Xchange
  • Growth Street
  • Handle by Bizfitech
  • Investly
  • Iwoca Limited
  • Ormsby Street
  • Runpath
  • Solo – Smarter Freelancing
  • Teller
  • Tide
  • Xelix

Chris Gorst, challenge prize lead at Nesta, commented: “We have been overwhelmed by the volume and quality of entrants for the Open Up Challenge. It’s encouraging to see how much energy and talent is focussed on fintech innovations for small businesses.

“We now have 20 teams who we firmly believe can build next generation services that will transform small business banking. By supporting these teams with financial rewards, expert support and access to the Open Up Data Sandbox, we hope to play a part in revolutionising a sector that has been slow to exploit new technology and respond to customer needs.”

Imran Gulamhusainwala, trustee of the Open Banking implementation entity, added: “Open banking is the catalyst that will accelerate the creation of an entirely new market for dynamic, rapidly evolving, financial services.

“From automating activity that currently takes valuable time away from businesses, to making access to credit and advice easier and smarter, it will revolutionise the way companies are run and grown. Nesta’s Open Up Challenge demonstrates the range and quality of innovations enabled by open banking and I look forward to seeing these develop into game-changing products for small businesses.”

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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