FinTech startup Swoop has raised £5.4 million ($8.4 million CAD) in Series A funding in order to target the United States (US) for international expansion. Along with the all-equity £5.4 million investment, Swoop also received a £2 million GBP debt facility from Juice Ventures.
The financing, which closed in February, saw participation from United Kingdom (UK) private equity firm Velocity, Arab Bank Ventures, IAG and WeHo Ventures. Velocity is an existing investor in Swoop, alongside other early backers, including Enterprise Ireland.
Initially launched in Ireland and the UK in 2018, Swoop entered the Canadian market last year. The company also operates in Sydney, Australia. According to the startup, it’s currently working to establish a presence in the US through its Canadian operations, cementing its Toronto office as Swoop’s North American hub.
Co-founded by Andrea Reynolds (CEO), Ciaran Burke (COO), Swoop provides a platform designed to help business owners find funding opportunities. The startup works with more than 1,000 funding providers—from mainstream banks, alternative lenders, venture capital funds, angel investors, and grant agencies—to create a personalized list of funding providers to choose from.
Swoop also assists companies in the search to find saving opportunities through its open banking technology, which enables firms to see potential savings in other options for banking, foreign exchange, utilities, and insurance. The company claims that it has assisted more than 75,000 businesses in obtaining more than $100 million CAD in funding.
Burke, who was appointed as Swoop’s head of Canada in September, previously told BetaKit that Swoop wanted to enter Canada because of the moves the country has made toward establishing an open banking system.
Open banking is a system that would enable consumers to transfer their financial data between financial institutions and accredited third parties in a secure way. Open banking was introduced in Ireland in 2019, one of the first locations where Swoop launched. In March, PwC Canada digital banking director Abraham Tachjian was selected to lead open banking efforts in Canada.
According to Swoop, its Series A round follows a surge in demand for small and medium enterprises (SME) financing. The startup expects this demand to increase its revenue by 450 percent this year.
With approximately $16.8 million in total funding, Swoop previously raised £7.5 million GBP in total from the UK government’s Banking Competition Remedies’ Capability and Innovation Fund. In 2018, Swoop also secured €400,000 EUR in grants from Nesta’s Open Up Challenge.
Swoop noted that it expects to have a global employee base of 80 by the end of this summer, up from a current headcount of 60. Burke told BetaKit that using the company’s fresh capital, Swoop plans to bolster its engineering, product, and sales teams, as well as its in-house data science capabilities.
In addition to Burke, its Canadian team currently comprises five people, including senior sales manager Vladan Erkic, who took part in launching Swoop in Canada and is responsible for overseeing the commercial sales process. Swoop expects its Canadian division to grow to 10 by the end of the year.
Featured image from Swoop’s website.