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Non-Bank For SMEs Gets $2M Seed Backing

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Small business banking firm Tide positions itself as the “world’s first” mobile-first banking tool for SMEs and boasts its speedy services for small businesses looking to set up a bank account. Now, venture capitalists have provided seed funding to help Tide accelerate its growth, too.

Reports on Monday (July 25) said Tide raised $2 million in seed funding from a slew of investors, including Passion Capital, LocalGlobe and other strategic investors.

Tide enables small business owners to set up a business current account by allowing its mobile app to read an ID; the company claims to be able to do so in three minutes or less without setup, monthly or annual fees, reports said.

The U.K. company charges 20p for every bank payment made. Later this year, it hopes to roll out additional features, including foreign exchange and payments services to help SMEs accept direct debits or card payments.

Tide also provides accounting and expense management solutions, while offering integration into existing small business accounting platforms, like Xero. Business owners can submit invoices or upload receipts directly from the app, the firm said.

“Tide is the future of small business banking services by addressing serious pain points for small business owners and entrepreneurs,” said Passion Capital Partner and Tide Chairman Eileen Burbidge. “With Tide, small business owners can get an intuitive mobile-first experience that is almost instant to set up and easily integrates with best-in-class cloud-based tools and services seamlessly.”

Founder and CEO George Bevis added that Tide differentiates itself from rivals like Mondo because it offers a full-service bank account, as opposed to a mobile wallet.

“Tide is the first FinTech startup we’ve helped launch since Brexit and one with innovation aimed at helping a vital part of the U.K. economy — small business owners,” stated Robin Klein, cofounder and partner at LocalGlobe.

Reports highlighted that Tide is not a bank, though. Accounts set up through the service are provided by Barclays with an eMoney license provided by PrePay Solutions. The funds in the accounts are protected under that eMoney license and not a bank license, reports added, meaning that, unlike banks, eMoney license holders cannot make investments with the money held in accounts without first notifying the owner of those accounts.

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