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UK Fintech startup Pillar raises £13m pre-seed to solve credit access problem for immigrants

UK Fintech startup Pillar raises £13m pre-seed to solve credit access problem for immigrants 40
  • UK fintech, Pillar has raised a pre-seed round of £13m to help build a new credit platform which provides access to credit for immigrants globally 
  • Immigrants cannot take their credit profile from one country to another fuelling financial exclusion and are unable to access everyday products 
  • Pillar is led by former Revolut executive Ashutosh Bhatt
  • The £13m round is led by leading VC funds,  Global Founders Capital and Backed VC
  • The technology-based platform aims to break down credit data borders globally, open up access to credit for immigrants, and build technical rails to democratise global credit underwriting.

LONDON, APRIL, 21st, 8AM: Fintech startup Pillar today announces its pre-seed round of £13m led by leading VC firms Global Founders Capital and Backed VC. The company, which is developing a new global financial platform, will provide immigrants with access to credit products when moving to a new country.  With the current structure of the credit referencing market, a consumer cannot take their credit file from one country to another. As such, nearly all immigrants find themselves excluded from everyday products such as credit cards and loans. Those that do manage to access a product find themselves paying a disproportionately higher cost of borrowing.

Founded by well-known Revolut alumni Ashutosh Bhatt and experienced fintech CTO, Adam Lewis, Pillar’s technology will provide individuals moving to new countries with access to a variety of credit products in their new locations, that would have previously been unattainable. At the heart of the product is Pillar’s proprietary Open Banking-led data and analytics engine that will power the global scalability of the platform. The team confirmed a launch date planned for Q3 in 2022. 

Ashutosh Bhatt, CEO of Pillar, commented “We are delighted to announce the news of our pre-seed capital raise. All of our investors share our vision of improving migrants’ experience when trying to access financial products in their new home country.” 

“Ever since I moved to the UK and found I couldn’t access any of the everyday products I had in India this has been a problem I have been passionate about solving. I arrived earning a good salary at Barclays and found I couldn’t even get an iPhone! Fourteen years later, and the world of credit still hasn’t changed, so we have set upon building a globally scalable platform that breaks down data silos and credit borders as well as solves this massive problem faced by financially secure people moving to a new country.”

“At my previous role at Revolut, it was a herculean task to get credit bureaus coordinated across countries , they just don’t have the tech to be joined up outside of each region. As a result a data disparity exists that means people have to start again every time they move to another country. Our intention is to look at consumers based on their credit footprint globally, not on a country by country basis.”

“Through Pillar, anyone moving to the UK from another country can have a credit card in their pocket before they board their flight and instantly get on the credit ladder. Plus, we aren’t stopping with this use-case, we want to take this service and experience globally to credit markets around the world. The UK and Europe are just the beginning, we are building out infrastructure in the US, Africa and Asia. It is about time that credit products as well as credit data systems are redeveloped from scratch, there has been no real innovation in the past half a century in this space.”

The initial capital will be put towards development of the platform and building out the operational infrastructure to support the firm’s growth plans. Pillar has already assembled a core team of some of the best talent in the fintech market with significant experience in areas such as Open Banking, neo-banking, lending and technology.

A number of high profile angels have contributed to the raise including the founders of WageStream, Peter Briffet and Portman Wills as well as the powerhouse investor and former VP and investor of AirBnB Oliver Jung.

Many of Ash’s former colleagues from Revolut have also participated in the raise including former CFO, Peter O’Higgins, marketing guru and ex-CMO of Revolut Chad West, expansion expert Neil Shah and collections leader Hardev Tumber. “I am very fortunate to have Revolut friends and awesome operators as quarterbacks in our team” 

Gerald Parloiu, Partner at Global Founders Capital, commented “We are hugely excited about this investmentPillar is a genuinely differentiated offering solving a big problem in the market using disruptive technologies. We are delighted to be partnered with the team at Pillar.”

Andre de Haes, Founder of Backed VC, said “One of the big problems consumers face when moving to a new country is how to access the financial products that they need. The team at Pillar has come up with a genuinely innovative solution to address the issues those consumers face and we look forward to assisting the team’s growth going forward.”

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