London FinTech startup Portify has raised £7 million in a Series A funding round led by Redalpine, with participation from existing investors Kindred and Entrepreneur First, TechCrunch reported on Thursday (Dec. 12).
Portify will use the funding to scale its credit finance service that assists gig economy workers and others who are self-employed. The app-based platform offers a variety of financial products geared toward helping people in the gig economy better manage their money.
The company uses open banking to offer cash flow prediction and income smoothing services and initially delivered offerings through partnerships with firms like Deliveroo.
The startup was founded in 2017 by Entrepreneur First alumni Sho Sugihara, who serves as the company’s chief executive officer, and Chris Butcher, who is chief technology officer. The Series A funding round follows a 2018 seed investment of £1.3 million.
Portify’s mission is to help people who are self-employed tackle financial volatility in the gig economy. Various financial products are offered, including those that help people with short and long-term financial planning.
“Once we started working closely with our initial users, we realized that while being modern workers, many of them also fell into the credit invisible or thin file segment, lacking access to basic financial products,” Sugihara said.
He added that there are many reasons people could end up being in the thin file, but for giggers and freelancers, it is due to “having an unconventional, fluctuating earnings pattern … or simply never having taken out other credit products before.”
Sugihara said they discovered that many independents don’t work for a particular gig or staffing platform, and often change platforms and have breaks in between assignments.
“To make sure we fulfill our mission of financially including all thin file modern workers, we felt it important we make our app as accessible as possible,” he said. “Being credit invisible is a big pain point for modern workers.”
For gig workers, a growing subset of the economy where at least one-third of the U.S. workforce has taken on project-based work, getting paid in a timely manner can be critical to financial well-being. Recent research on the gig economy indicated that 85 percent of gig workers would work more often if they were paid faster.