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Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates back UK FinTech startup Wagestream

Bill Gates

Amazon’s and Microsoft’s billionaire founders have backed a UK FinTech startup that enables employees to get their salaries early.

According to The Times, Wagestream, which seeks to put an end to the “payday poverty cycle”, raised £4.5m from investors including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

The startup has created a mobile app which enables employees of participating businesses to gain access to funds from their salary packages for a flat fee of £1.75.

The total sum is then taken from the employees’ salaries on pay day.

Wagestream has launched a pilot with 25 businesses, employing 20,000 people.

Participants to date include gym chain David Lloyd.

Peter Briffett, the founder, said he hoped to “stop people getting into cycles of debt and poverty”.

“By giving workers access to their earnings, they can stop making financially distressing decisions such as taking out a payday loan. There is an instant link between work and reward,” he added.

The news of the raise comes weeks after the collapse of Wonga, widely credited with being the UK’s biggest payday loan provider.

Wonga, founded in London in the Autumn of 2006, provided “short-term, high-cost credit” and had operations in the UK, Poland, Spain and South Africa.