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Tide rides wave of UK SME creation to add 100,000 customers in 2021

Tide customers
Image credit: Tide

UK-based business financial platform Tide says it added 100,000 customers in 2021, which it claims makes it the seventh-largest banking services provider to UK SMEs.

The 30% rise in members of its financial services platform brings the total number of businesses using Tide to 400,000. The majority of these new customers came from businesses that were created in 2021, Tide said.

The number of SMEs, which make up 99% of UK businesses, declined by 6.5% between 2020 and 2021 during the peak of the pandemic. While there are no accurate figures yet that show the number of SMEs created in 2021, business owners recently struck a cautiously optimistic tone about post-pandemic growth opportunities.

Tide was founded in 2015 and began offering services for businesses, such as accounting and invoice creation, in 2017. The company’s online platform is used by businesses from scaleups to SMEs, along with freelancers.

Tide also provides loans to businesses via its credit partners and says it has now lent out more than£10.5m. The company, which is headquartered in London and has offices in Sofia, Bulgaria and Hyderabad, India, also grew its headcount to more than 800 employees globally.

“Tide has been enormously successful in attracting new businesses, by helping them start out – helping business owners to register their businesses and open a current account quickly and easily,” said Oliver Prill, Tide CEO. “Businesses will not only be able to use services such as invoicing but, in time, open banking will also allow them to view and make payments on their existing bank account via the Tide platform.”

Last year, Tide also reached some of its major milestones such as having its members create over one million invoices from the Tide app. As per the company, more than £10.5m was lent to Tide members via the company’s credit partners. The company also donated £173,000 to small businesses via Tide Charity and it has 800 employees globally.

Back in November last year, Tide began using open banking to let businesses connect existing accounts with its financial services platform. This means customers of Starling Bank, Natwest, and Barclays can try Tide without switching banks and gain access to Tide’s tools

Additionally, back in July 2021, Tide raised $100m at a valuation of $650m led by Apax Digital, the growth equity team of Apax Partners. It brought the fintech’s total funding to date to over $150m.