Sir Alex Ferguson backs fintech start-up Pockit

Former Manchester United manager joins group of angel investors in backing tech business with £1m

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson marked an entry into angel investing this week, joining with leading angel investors in backing fintech start-up Pockit with £1m.

Founded in 2011 by Danny, Yuvraj and Virraj Jatania, Pockit produces a pre-paid Mastercard, which users can load up with cash and spend, obtaining up to 10% cashback by shopping at certain high-street retailers.

Ferguson, whose 27-year reign at Manchester United saw him become the most successful manager in British football history, joins other angel investors in backing the businesses with £1m, including Mothercare CEO Mark Newton-Jones, Denis Shafranik, Simon Barklem and Ian Langley.

It follows a previous £1m seed funding round by co-founder Danny Jatania, who along with his brothers founded the £100m-turnover personal care giant Lornamead Group in 1978. Lornamead was sold to Hong Kong-based clothing and toy supplier Li & Fung in 2013 for $190m.

The latest round will be used to back a major consumer roll-out of Pockit’s prepaid cards by funding management team hires, investing in a new website and embarking on a large-scale marketing drive.

Speaking about the deal, Sir Alex Ferguson said in a statement: “I am excited by the plans for Pockit, their management team is superbly placed as the Jatania family has an outstanding track record of building businesses from the ground up and growing brands.

“I am looking forward to watching the business develop.”

Investor and interim CEO of Mothercare Mark Newton-Jones added: “Pockit is a dynamic, entrepreneurial start-up business and has proved there is demand for its model amongst both consumers and retailers during its development period over the last 18 months.

“There are nearly three million people in the UK who don’t have access to full banking which means that they are currently unable to benefit from the convenience and savings shopping online can bring. With Pockit we are able to democratise the internet by giving the cash community the same opportunities without the risk of running up debt on the card and falling into financial trouble.”

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