Tech Business of the Year 2014
Start-up name: Centtrip Card
Founder: Brian Jamieson, 48, Daniel Butcher, 41, Tony North, 44
Started in: 2014
Based in: London
Business description: Pre-paid card provider
There have been moments in judging the Startups Awards over many years when you come across a company you’re absolutely convinced has a huge future.
Naked Wines, Ella’s Kitchen, The Cambridge Satchel Company, Secret Escapes, YPlan, all graduated from the Startups Awards to achieve international success.
Centtrip bears all the hallmarks of a company set to follow in their footsteps, which was why despite having little by way of the financial metrics judges like to see due to it being in its first year of trading, it impressed enough to win Tech Business of the Year, sponsored by .uk. And all this while up against the disruptively impressive product price-beating e-commerce platform Flubit and fast-growing adtech company Powerlinks Media.
The multi-currency pre-paid MasterCard and international currency account provider’s co-founder Daniel Butcher was there to receive the award, afterwards telling Startups “After two years of hard work putting the business together, it really does help to cement the fact that we are onto a good thing.”
Along with business partners Tony North and Brian Jamieson, Butcher boasts an impressive career in finance, with the trio having previously build two of the UK and Europe’s most successful corporate foreign exchange brokers, with combined revenues of $30bn.
Such impressive track records piqued the interest of the judges, as did the company’s pool of backers, which features the former CEO and chairman of EMI, the founder of Hotels4U, and a senior executive at investment bank Credit Suisse.
Its technology platform, which allows card users to manage their money on the move via smartphone or via an online account, makes Centtrip a card accepted in 34 million locations and from 2.1 million ATMs worldwide thanks to its MasterCard status.
The gap in the market for a card for high rollers needing access to multiple currencies while travelling, while not being stung for by a fee for the exchange conversion, appears gaping wide.
And add to that a timely change to maritime legislation, which has opened up a lucrative revenue stream, requiring that crew are not paid in cash, and it would appear Centtrip has a winning formula.
It prompted North to say: “We’re thrilled to have won this prestigious award. Receiving this highly respected external commendation is a real validation that what we have created serves real purpose, it is meaningful and genuinely customer focused.”
Co-founder and managing director Brian Jamieson adds: “The time is right for a product unique in its approach to disrupt the conventional and challenge costs. One that is transparent, fair and serves the actual needs of the individual and international business traveller and complements the relationship between lifestyle, money and technology.”
We’ll watch its ascent with interest.