Startups Vyne and cheqd Secure Funding

Account-to-account payments platform Vyne and cheqd, a network for creating digital credential businesses, are making progress in the UK.

It’s a positive time as Vyne and lowercase-loving firm cheqd have scooped up some funding for their tech aspirations in the UK.

Vyne, an account-to-account payments platform, raised $15.5 million (£11.3 million). Meanwhile, cheqd, a network for creating digital credential businesses, grabbed $2.6 million (£1.9 million).

Vyne Feeling Fine

The seed funding for Vyne came from fintech investors including Hearst Ventures, Entrée Capital, Triplepoint, Seedcamp, Venrex, Founder Collective and Partech alongside angel investment from Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla and CEO of Cazoo, Charlie Dellingpole, CEO and founder of ComplyAdvantage and Will Neale, founder of Grabyo.

This investment marks the “largest seed funding round in the UK open banking market to date”.

Karl MacGregor, CEO at Vyne, says open banking can “overhaul the traditional banking and payment infrastructure that merchants and consumers have been beholden to for decades”.

Founded in 2019 in London, the fintech startup is out to challenge traditional card and alternative payment methods. For example, merchants can engage customers through more digital channels such as QR codes and pay-by-link, which can be sent by email, SMS or in person.

There are no specifics but the investment will be used to increase international coverage and bring new use cases to market.

Vyne says it processes millions of pounds worth of transactions each month at a growth rate of 95% month on month. In the last quarter Vyne made a number of hires including ex-Klarna and Laybuy “heavyweight” Luke Flomo as chief revenue officer and Ors Kardos, previously of, as director of Engineering. The business has also recently opened headquarters in Holborn, London. The firm is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Also this week in the world of open banking, London-based platform TrueLayer closed a $130 million (£95 million) fundraising round.

The investment gave TrueLayer a post-money valuation of more than $1 billion (£730.9 million) and took it into the realm of unicorns.

Capital Time for cheqd 

cheqd – formerly known as verim – secured the investment to support the launch of its product later this year.

The funding round was backed by Outlier Ventures, Evernym, TitanBlock, Torque, 3GR and a consortium of private investors. It follows their initial investment in March this year and brings the total raised by the company to $3.3 million (£2.4 million).

Ankur Banerjee, cheqd’s CTO, says: “COVID accelerated uptake of digital technology but the question is, how do you prove your identity and build trust in an online world? Digital IDs give people control over their credentials which makes it easier and cheaper to verify their identity which makes banking and other services more accessible.”

Fraser Edwards, CEO at cheqd, adds: “cheqd aims to build the trusted data economy to give people and organisations back their privacy and control of their data.”

According to the startup, its software enables individuals to have their own digital ID that they can store on their mobile phone and use to verify their identity or information such as their qualifications, vaccine status or credit history. Like a passport or driving licence, it would be ‘signed’ by a trusted authority and accepted as proof of status by other organisations without the need to check the individual’s details on a central database.

The technology, which is based on blockchain, has been developed by a team led by Edwards and Banerjee.

Self-sovereign identity (SSI), as the concept is known, “safeguards privacy” by removing the need to store personal information on a central database and giving the individual control over what information they share.

The two founders met while working as analysts at Accenture in London. They spent the past seven years managing emerging technology projects and were selected to take part in Outlier Ventures’ Base Camp in spring 2021. The business currently employs a team of eight and says it is on course to launch its first product later this year. It will be aimed at tech firms developing digital ID solutions, as well banks, universities, hospitals or other bodies that issue credentials and may want to offer them in digital ID format.

By the way, in August, eWeek UK classed cheqd as one of the ‘10 Tech Startups to Watch in 2021’. (It’s nice to be right, isn’t it?)

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.
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