The BBVA and Anthemis Venture Creation Partnership is helping U.K. based financial health business Wollit get off the ground with an integrated investment programme.
Wollit aims to bring financial well-being to the 43 percent of the U.K*. workforce who live without the financial security of a stable income. That workforce are the millions of British residents who work as independent contractors, temporary workers, shift workers, part-time workers or on-call workers.
The startup has been backed by venture capital firm Anthemis and Spanish banking giant BBVA. The investment will support the launch of Wollit’s first product, The Wollit Income Promise. An income stability tool that enables people to take home the same amount of money each month, even if their hours and earnings fluctuate.
There are approximately 14 million people in the U.K. who live without the financial security of a stable income. Frequent cash-flow shortages mean that they are five times more reliant on high-cost credit as well as four times more likely to incur late payment fees. This bad debt creates a knock-on effect on their wellbeing, with workers without a stable income more likely to suffer from poor mental and physical health than those in secure work.
Wollit’s efforts will initially focus on supporting zero-hour workers whose contracts do not guarantee any hours of work at all.
Unlike payday loans and credit cards, The Wollit Income Promise is personalised to each customers’ exact financial circumstances and needs. It provides vital interest-free cash top-ups when they earn less than normal, which is only paid back when they earn more than normal.
An income stability tool that enables people to take home the same amount of money each month, even if their hours and earnings fluctuate.
Liad Shababo, Wollit CEO said: “Wollit is here to establish a new status quo in financial services. We want to make sure everyone has access to financial wellbeing.
“This funding supports our first product, The Wollit Income Promise, which offers a financial safety net for the 14 million U.K. workers whose income fluctuates from month-to-month. With this, we set to end their monthly gamble of feast or famine and provide a safer, more sustainable option than the short-term, risky alternatives.”
Farhan Lalji, Principal at Anthemis said: “We’re so pleased to announce that Wollit is one of the first companies to be backed through the BBVA & Anthemis Venture Creation Partnership. We whole-heartedly believe in their socially-focused mission and look forward to supporting the Wollit team to bring much-needed financial stability to this underserved section of our workforce.”
He added: “The BBVA & Anthemis Venture Creation Partnership identifies early-stage fintech companies who are looking for both financial and strategic support to accelerate the growth of their business. This means Wollit now has access to mentors and resources inside the Anthemis and BBVA ecosystems beyond pure capital - including product development, data science, business development, and talent resources - as they grow their business.”
Ian Ormerod, BBVA’s Global Head of New Digital Businesses, said: “Promoting financial health is one of BBVA’s core strategic priorities - alongside promoting sustainability. “As such we are delighted to be investing both time, experience and funding into Wollit and we look forward to seeing the impact they will make.”