BankTech

Business banking startup Tide raises $100M Series C round

U.K. business banking platform Tide announced it raised over $100 million in a Series C funding round led by Apax Digital, the growth equity team of Apax Partners. The newest cash injection values the six-year-old tech company at $650 million.

Existing investors in the company, including Anthemis, Augmentum, Jigsaw, Local Globe/Latitude, SBI and SpeedInvest, also participated in the round. To date, Tide has gained a total of $200 million in funding.

According to the startup, Monday’s funding will be used to support its international expansion strategy beyond its current three offices in London, Sofia, Bulgaria and Hyderabad, India.

The latest influx of cash comes just weeks after the firm announced plans to kickstart its expansion strategy further into its India footprint. That plan includes a commitment to invest £100 million and create 1,000 jobs over the next five years.

“Partnering with Apax Digital validates Tide’s potential to continue our growth trajectory and gain traction in global markets,” said Tide CEO Oliver Prill. “As we embark on taking Tide international, we couldn’t have a better set of investors to support us.”

People

Prill took over as head of Tide following founder George Bevis’ departure in 2018. Bevis, an ex-banker and small business owner, credited his leaving three years ago to Tide’s expansion beyond the small-business frame. Now, Bevis has the helm of CanDo, a venture incubator.

Before Tide, Prill was the chief operating officer at online lender Kreditech. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in leadership positions in financial services while working across banking and insurance. He now operates next to Tide’s chair, Sir Donald Brydon, a veteran chairman of UK giants like the Sage Group, the London Stock Exchange and the Royal Mail Group.

The duo have helped Tide stake its claim in the online banking ecosystem, offering mobile-first banking services for small and medium-sized businesses. It also enables businesses to set up a business account and get instant access to various financial services including automated bookkeeping and integrated invoicing.

Industry landscape

With tech taking over in the wake of 2020’s pandemic, the business saw its UK customer base more than double last year. According to Tide, it now has more than 350,000 customers, accounting for a UK SME banking share of more than 6%.

But it’s grappling in an ever-growing space. Monese, Monzo and Revolut all have skin in the UK online-banking game. Massive financial players like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are also making plays to break into the UK business.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said last month the bank is using Britain as a test case to expand globally. According to Dimon, the company is testing its digital product offerings to see what works best without the cost of the branches. It will likely be a hefty competitor to startups making their own way.

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