January 25, 2021

Pockit raises over £500k in its debut crowdfunding

UK-based fintech, Pockit, is raising its first ever crowdfunding on Crowdcube.

The company has applied to Future Fund (the UK government scheme delivered by the British Business Bank) for funding, to match the amount raised through Crowdcube. This amount is reflected on the progress bar to indicate the total round size.

Pockit initially opened up the crowdfunding part of the round to “customers and close network”, says CEO and co-founder, Virraj Jatania, in a post on LinkedIn.

Pockit screen

Pockit points to international expansion plans

At time of writing, it has raised £583,860 from 615 investors – meaning the average investment so far has sat at around £1,000. Now, the crowdfunding campaign is open to the public.

There are 13 days left for investors to get involved. The fintech’s target was just half a million. It’s a convertible round, which means investors will be issued shares sometime in the future with 8% annual interest.

The fintech says on its Crowdcube page that it will use the money to make its product available in more places across the globe, pointing to international expansion plans.

The Series B

The fundraise comes a few days after the start-up’s £15 million Series B funding round, which closed on 3 December.

The Series B was led by Concentric, who have been a long-time investor in the fintech. Concentric is also a backer of Seedcamp, the European seed fund platform which underpinned Revolut’s early growth.

Pockit has raised a total of £27 million in capital to date. Its Series B is shaping up to be at least triple its previous rounds.

Pockit perks

Pockit is designed with those still underserved by UK banks in mind. The fintech hosts a current account “designed for every consumer, no matter their credit history”.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says there’s still 1.3 million unbanked in the UK, excluding people who are underbanked.

Users of Pockit can send money to 29 countries and tap a prepaid Mastercard for online and in-store spending.

According to its website, the fintech’s 500,000 registered customers can earn up to £20 a month in cashback, and build up their credit scores.

Launched in 2014, Pockit has continued to double its customer acquisition growth. It had 50,000 customers by 2016. In 2017, it reached 100,000, and in 2018, 200,000.  By 2019 it doubled growth to 400,000.

Co-founder Jatania spent just three months as an intern at Barclays Wealth before founding the start-up. But the fintech’s director, Mark Newton-Jones, has years of retail experience.

Newton-Jones was a non-executive director at Boohoo for three years, CEO of Shop Group Direct for nine years, and a director at Next for five years. He is also currently the CEO of Mothercare.

The move away from Wirecard

Last month, Pockit migrated its payment services away from Wirecard Card Solutions (WCS) — the UK subsidiary of Wirecard — and moved them to PayrNet, a subsidiary of Railsbank and the new owner of WCS.

Back in June, the FCA  suspended Wirecard’s UK subsidiary from operating, prompting a handful of fintechs — Pockit among them — to suffer downtime of certain key services.

The fintech had to suspend customers’ current accounts temporarily. This stopped customers from being able to get access to their money.

Some Pockit users said on Twitter at the time that they got no warning before their accounts were suspended. The fintech eventually got back online with the help of the FCA lifting the suspension.

Read next: FCA suspends Wirecard’s UK subsidiary