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UK startup Wagestream secures £15m funding

Financial wellness startup Wagestream has secured a £15m Series A funding round with early-stage venture capital specialists Balderton and Northzone co-investing together — adds £15m resulting in a total raise of £40m.

The funding total means that Wagestream — which allows staff to draw down a percentage of their earned wages any day of the month for a flat £1.75 fee — has attracted the largest pool of social impact investment in UK history.

Wagestream is a ‘get-paid-as-you-can’ service that allows workers to access their earned income in real time. The company is aiming to tackle the need for payday loans and end the financial stress caused by the anticipated monthly pay cycle.

Tech investor Balderton has raised £2.7bn over 19 years and has backed startups including Revolut and Nutmeg, while Trustpilot-backer Northzone has raised €1bn, targeting more than 130 companies since 1996.

Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream said: “The feedback we are getting from private companies and public sector customers alike is that staff are happier, more productive and have greater financial security once they start using our service.

“The antiquated monthly pay cycle inflicts huge financial damage on household finances and its days are numbered. Too many people are pushed into a corner by in-work poverty and forced into the hands of payday lenders and high-cost credit.

“Wagestream is at the point of scaling up rapidly and this historic investment is going to accelerate the pace at which companies across the country liberate their staff from payday poverty and the disastrous social consequences that stem from it.”

Rob Moffat, Partner, Balderton Capital, added: “We fell in love with the strong product-market fit of Wagestream. We very rarely hear such universal positive feedback from all who have tried a product.

“Companies used to take an active role in supporting the financial health of their users but this has slowly been eroded, to the extent where employees paid at the end of the month are effectively subsidising their employer for 29 days a month. Wagestream starts to restore the right balance.”