Thought Machine and FOLK2FOLK Bag Funding

Lively news from London and Cornwall for a cloud native core banking technology company and an SME lending platform.

Cloud native core banking technology firm Thought Machine and SME lending platform FOLK2FOLK have secured some tech funding.

It’s unicorn time as Thought Machine has raised $200 million (£149.7 million) in Series C funding to take its valuation to more than $1 billion (£748.7 million).

British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary within the British Business Bank group, has announced a £7 million commitment to FOLK2FOLK, a specialist marketplace lender for rural and regional smaller businesses.

Thought Machine Thinking Ahead

Thought Machine’s latest round was led by Nyca Partners, a New York and San Francisco-based venture capital firm, with investment also coming from the investment arms of some of Thought Machine’s banking clients – ING Ventures, JP Morgan Chase and Standard Chartered Ventures. Existing investors Lloyds Banking Group, British Patient Capital, Eurazeo, SEB, Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit), Backed and IQ Capital have all participated in the round.

Thought Machine will use the funding for developing its core banking platform Vault and its Universal Product Engine. Details are thin on the ground, but it also plans to expand its international reach, strengthen its five global offices and target unspecified markets.

Things seem pretty good right now for the fintech firm. In October 2021, Thought Machine relocated to a larger London HQ after adding more than 200 employees since 2020. Some recent deals include Arvest Bank in the US and Wise, formerly known as TransferWise. The Wise for Banks API was integrated with Vault.

Thought Machine is headquartered in London and was founded in 2014 by former Google engineer Paul Taylor.

Happy Folks at FOLK2FOLK 

FOLK2FOLK is based in Cornwall and specialises in providing finance to smaller businesses. It’s not just about tech matters, but the company has provided £488 million of investment into regional smaller businesses since 2013.

Since its establishment in 2014, British Business Investments has committed over £3 billion to providers of finance to UK smaller businesses.

Louis Mathers, Co-Founder and Director, FOLK2FOLK, says: “By focusing on rural and regional businesses, FOLK2FOLK serves an extremely viable but underserved part of the SME landscape. Too often, investments overlook businesses operating outside of large urban areas. We founded FOLK2FOLK on the belief that something needed to be done about this regional disparity in funding.”

Roy Warren, Managing Director, FOLK2FOLK, adds: “FOLK2FOLK takes a human approach to lending and reviews every case on its own merits. By taking a holistic approach, we’re able to see the bigger picture, and will also consider projection-led proposals.”

This latest good news follows on from September, when FOLK2FOLK announced an H1 2021 pre-tax profit of £943,000, “delivering just short” of the company’s FY 2020 profit and “setting a course to double its profit in 2021”.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 17 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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