back Back

Wagestream announced the close of a $175m Series C funding round

By Joy Dumasia

April 13, 2022

  • Blackrock
  • Digital Lending
  • Europe
Share

Wagestream, the financial wellbeing app founded with charities, designed for frontline workers and built around pay, has closed a $175 million Series C funding round to scale up support for underserved, financially stressed workers beyond the UK. The round is believed to be the largest ever raised for a social impact FinTech comprises a $60 million equity investment led by new investors Smash Capital, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and $115 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank.

Historically, frontline workers have been excluded or forced to pay more for financial services than other workers. Research from the University of Bristol shows they pay a premium of £490 more for basic household and financial services each year – the equivalent of 14 weeks’ food shopping. With a social charter at its core​​, Wagestream was founded in 2018 by Peter Briffett (CEO), Portman Wills (CTO) and a group of leading financial charities to solve this problem – by giving people access to a set of fairer financial services, delivered through their employer, and built around their pay.

Peter Briffett, Wagestream CEO and Co-Founder said: “When we launched Wagestream, many employers viewed financial wellbeing as a long-term aspiration; now they realise it is a national emergency. For example, 93% of companies we recently surveyed plan to put a financial wellbeing program in place, up from 51% just one year ago. By addressing the financial wellbeing of their employees, employers become the hero and solve their own HR challenges in the process from recruitment, to retention, to productivity.”

The funding round is led by new investors, Smash Capital, a US-based investment firm focused on later-stage consumer Internet and technology companies. Smash’s prior investments include Epic Games, Reddit, SonderMind, and DuckDuckGo, among others. Smash’s founders previously led investments for The Walt Disney Company and leading venture capital firms. The round also includes new investors, BlackRock and is joined by follow on investments from existing shareholders Balderton Capital, Northzone, charity fund Fair By Design, and new financing from Silicon Valley Bank. 

Brad Twohig, Managing Partner at Smash Capital, said: “Financial exclusion and a rising cost of living have created severe financial stress for hard-working people around the world. We’ve invested in Wagestream because its team has reimagined the world of work to solve that problem making it more inclusive and rewarding for millions of people.”

Originally launched in the UK, the Series C capital will be used to build a broader set of fair financial services within the app and scale up Wagestream’s growing teams outside the UK. One million workers now can access Wagestream globally through over 300 employers in the US, U.K., Spain and Australia.

Katie Duxbury, Head of Payroll Services at leading healthcare provider Bupa, which rolled out the app to its workforce in 2021, said: “Wagestream has been amazing for our people. By offering a range of charity-backed financial wellbeing tools built around pay, we’ve been able to empower them to build better financial health – all managed through one smart app. 

Part-owned by charities including Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Social Tech Trust, Big Society Capital, and the Fair by Design fund, Wagestream is accountable to an Impact Advisory Board and reports on social impact to its shareholders each quarter. Emma Steele, Partner at Ascension, explains: “it’s time for FinTech businesses to reach and include the 2.7bn global frontline workforce in a fair financial system. As a pre-seed backer of Wagestream, we’ve watched the business quickly evolve from its ‘beachhead’ flexible pay tool proposition to a global FinTech scale-up, bringing a broad range of financial wellbeing tools to over one million people and growing at an impressive scale. We are so proud of what the team continues to achieve they are an undeniable proof that purpose-led vision and commercial-scale go hand in hand.”

Previous Article

April 13, 2022

Stenn completes a $50m equity funding round with a valuation of $900m

Read More
Next Article

April 13, 2022

Cross-border payments for international students: Interview with Abhinov Balagoni, CEO & Founder of Pax Credit

Read More








IBSi Daily News Analysis

Generative AI

April 12, 2024

Blackrock

Security experts sound the alarm on Deepfake threats in the age of AI

Read More

IBSi FinTech Journal

  • Most trusted FinTech journal since 1991
  • Digital monthly issue
  • 60+ pages of research, analysis, interviews, opinions, and rankings
  • Global coverage
Subscribe Now

Other Related News

Today

5 FinTechs offering Mutual Fund-Backed Loans in India

Read More

Today

PXP Financial taps Mastercard to tackle payment fraud

Read More

Today

GoCardless extends partnership with Sage to reach new markets

Read More

Related Reports

Sales League Table Report 2023
Know More
Global Digital Banking Vendor & Landscape Report Q1 2024
Global Digital Banking Vendor & Landscape Report Q1 2024
Know More
Wealth Management & Private Banking Systems Report Q1 2024
Wealth Management & Private Banking Systems Report Q1 2024
Know More
IBSi Spectrum Report: Supply Chain Finance Platforms Q4 2023
Know More
Treasury & Capital Markets Systems Report Q4 2023
Know More

IBSi Sales League Table

The industry acknowledged barometer of global banking technology vendor performance!
Get your copy now!
close-link
Get your copy now! IBSi Sales League Table 2023