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Mayor of London grants funding to startups alleviating cost of living

startups cost of living Image credit: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock

Seven startups have been selected to receive funding by the Mayor of London as part of a project to use technology to alleviate the cost of living crisis.

The Poverty Prevention Challenge, first announced in January, is a plan from Sadiq Khan to use startups to support a financially struggling London during the cost of living crisis.

The seven startups will each receive a grant of up to £50,000 to further develop their technology, which ranges from AI to match people with mental health support and budgeting software.

The startups receiving the funding are:

CAD-HR: A community development startup that provides free legal assistance to struggling groups looking to set up and manage new businesses.

MatchingMind: An online mental health tool that uses AI to match users with counsellors and therapists with the goal of removing the trial and error of finding the right kind of support.

Mealia: An AI startup used to develop meal plans and budgets for families. The software generates personalised plans that select the best-value ingredients from major supermarket brands. 

Mendee: A startup supporting language and digital literacy among refugees. Mendee partners with refugee organisations by suppling AI training tools.

Mortar Works: A tenancy tool designed to support renters struggling with debts. The company protects renters from needing high-cost debt to afford their rent.

SuperFi: A budgeting and financial planning software tool. The platform acts as a single place for all financial management tasks such as bill organisation, debt consolidation and provides specialist advice.

Time to Spare: A startup that works with charities to streamline the sharing of data and information with councils to allow for a more communicative system of local support.

“The cost of living crisis continues to hit Londoners hard, and these innovative projects will help thousands who are struggling to make ends meet in the wake of soaring energy costs and food prices,” Khan said.

“Local government and community groups are working tirelessly to support residents during the cost of living crisis. But as a city, we must continue to innovate, and AI and new digital services have a real role to play in assisting that.”

The project is part of the Challenge LDN scheme from London’s City Hall, which has invested more than £2.5m into startups and small businesses.

Theo Blackwell, chief digital officer for London, said: “Over the past five years setting open calls or challenges like this has allowed us to be bolder and work more collaboratively with London’s startups and scaleups. Seeking and testing new ideas and learning from others, is an important part of London’s new way of working.”