The round, which comes a year after the company raised £1.3 million in seed investment, is led by Redalpine (an early investor in N26, Taxfix, Finiata, amongst others), with participation from existing investors Kindred and Entrepreneur First (EF).
Founded in May 2017 by EF alumni Sho Sugihara (CEO) and Chris Butcher (CTO), Portify has set out to help address the financial volatility many modern workers face, especially those who take part in flexible work or the so-called gig economy, or are self-employed in other sectors such as tradespeople or those in the creative industry.
The startup offers a number of tailored financial products, accessible via its mobile app, in addition to using Open Banking to provide financial insights into your current financial status and income, and help with short and long-term financial planning. However, until recently, the go-to-market strategy was primarily a B2B2C play — via partnerships with various gig economy platforms, such as Deliveroo. That’s now expanded to B2C.
“If you weren’t working for a select partner platform, you couldn’t access the app,” says Portify co-founder and CEO Sho Sugihara. “We did this because we wanted to make sure we were 100% focused on our target modern worker persona, and helping to financially include them. But once we started working closely with our initial users, we realised that while being modern workers, many of them also fell into the ‘credit invisible’/thin file segment, lacking access to basic financial products. There are a variety of reasons why they are thin file, but the main causes for our users centre around having an unconventional, fluctuating earnings pattern, being a recent migrant to the U.K. or simply never having taken out other credit products before, due to not trusting them.”
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