Updraft secures £72m investment in NatWest-led funding round

UK neolender Updraft has raised £72 million in equity and debt financing in the start-up’s largest investment round to date.

Updraft has more than 85,000 UK users on its app

The round was led by NatWest, which provided Updraft’s inaugural senior debt facility, with the fintech also extending its existing debt facility with specialist investment firm Quilam Capital.

This latest round follows a £16 million raise in late 2020. The company says it is also raising further equity to scale the business.

Updraft provides a financial wellness app featuring lending and credit report offerings.

Built on open banking technology, Updraft applies behavioural science and machine learning to users’ spending on loans, debts and overdrafts to provide personalised financial wellness advice.

The firm intends to lend £200 million in 2022 to help reduce high-interest borrowings for UK consumers.

Updraft has more than 85,000 UK users on its app and is planning new features that it says will help people “to break the impulse purchasing cycle and form positive habits with their money”.

NatWest’s director of financial institutions Rob Lamont says Updraft helps users move towards financial wellness by improving habits and reducing expensive borrowing, adding: “And we believe the need for this type of solution is set to grow, as consumers take more interest and more control of their money.”