Fast-growing firm gets £300,00 boost

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A fast-growing financial technology start-up has raised £300,000 from a syndicate of investors including Finance Yorkshire.

Ffrees, the UK’s leading digital current account provider, will use the injection of equity funding to introduce new products including a mobile app, and to re-develop its platform to allow direct debit transactions.

Established in 2012, Sheffield-based Ffrees is one of a new breed of small, fast-growing financial technology – ‘fintech’ - companies offering a different approach to the retail banks. It currently has 35,000 UK customers and is adding around 1,000 a week.

Founder Alex Letts said: “Ffrees is not a bank but an account that also helps customers to save. We don’t rely on their wealth for our revenues, there are no unexpected fees and we don’t try to sell them products. We don’t offer overdrafts and we don’t run credit checks.

“A vital part of our ethos is saving and effective money management – we aim to take customers away from the debt mentality and encourage them to control their finances through tools such as our online ‘jam jars’ and the Ffrees Money Manager, which is free and helps to pay bills, avoid debt and control spending.”

With the latest round of funding, Finance Yorkshire has now invested a total of £1.55m in Ffrees since 2012. Alongside investment from other parties, the business has evolved from a prepaid debit card provider to a much wider-reaching business with the potential to change the way customers save and spend money.

Finance Yorkshire portfolio manager Ian Brown said: “Ffrees has responded very effectively to the disenchantment many people feel with the retail banks. It offers a real alternative which is easy to use and has customers’ financial security at its heart. This funding will enable the business to develop a new platform.”