Tide, the leading digital business banking platform, has announced it has raised £44.1 million (US$54.3 million) in a first-round of Series B funding. The round was led by specialist fintech investment companies, The SBI Group and Augmentum Fintech plc (“Augmentum”).
Japan-based The SBI Group is one of the world’s leading fintech investment companies, Augmentum is one of Europe’s leading fintech VCs and the UK’s only listed fund specialising in fintech.
The additional funding will help Tide substantially increase its share of the UK business banking market, as well as to support the Company’s planned international expansion. Earlier this year, Tide’s partner, ClearBank secured a £60 million grant (US$74 million) from the RBS Alternative Remedies Package. Tide subsequently committed to raise an additional £60 million (US$74million) in upcoming funding rounds. Including the BCR grant, this will take the total raised by Tide to more than £130 million (US$160 million) to support its growth plans.
Tide’s aim is to become the number one business banking challenger and create genuine competition to the high street banks that dominate the UK business banking sector.
Combined with ClearBank’s world-class payments infrastructure, Tide is targeting a UK market share of at least 8% by 2023. In August 2019, Tide surpassed 100,000 members and increased its market share to 1.75%.
Significant member growth has been matched by strong growth in the Tide team, which has more than doubled in size to over 250 this year, as Tide launched new products and services for its members. These include Tide Plus and Tide Capital. Tide Plus is an upgraded account giving members additional support for running their businesses, including a dedicated 24/7 legal helpline, and phone helpline. In September, Tide announced the creation of Tide Capital, a subsidiary company allowing Tide to offer its own credit products to members for the first time.
Oliver Prill, CEO of Tide, said: “Securing this substantial investment from successful fintech investors like The SBI Group and Augmentum, underlines how far the business has come in a short time. We believe this is one of the largest Series B rounds ever secured by a UK fintech company. As we outlined earlier this year, securing more funding means we can accelerate our strategy to capture a significant share of the UK SME banking market. We want to challenge the oligopoly that has dominated and failed SMEs for too long. With a clear plan for growth in the UK backed by significant investment, we are ready for an exciting future, which includes looking at taking Tide to an international market.”
Yoshitaka Kitao, President and CEO of The SBI Group, said: “Tide’s rapid growth, alongside the quality of its products and services used by its growing army of members, is hugely exciting. For more than a decade, we have been establishing an internet-based financial ecosystem to drive growth through the aggressive use of new technology. Tide fits perfectly into that ecosystem and shares our approach to business which is to be customer-centric, and innovative to create value.”
Tim Levene, CEO of Augmentum Fintech, said: “Since we first invested in Tide last year, we have been impressed by how the team have delivered significant growth. Tide fits our investment criteria. It is disrupting its market by challenging incumbents, bringing efficiencies to the end customer, and is led by a talented and driven management team. We look forward to supporting Tide in its next stage of growth.”
Tide offers its members business banking without monthly, weekly or annual, or card usage fees. The only costs are for transfers from non-Tide accounts, ATM use and cash deposits at the Post Office. Unlike traditional banks, a new Tide account can be up and running in minutes rather than what can be weeks on the high street. As well as balances and payments, Tide can be fully integrated into accounting systems, and was among the first to launch with Xero’s new bank feed integration.