London-based Yonder, a new credit card startup from ClearScore alumni, announced on Thursday that it has raised £20M (approximately €23.65M) in Seed funding ahead of its launch in the UK. The company is on a mission to make money rewarding and credit empowering through products people understand and love.
The company has now raised a total of £20.85M (nearly €24.66M) in funding. In February, 2021, Yonder raised a pre-Seed round of £850K led by Seedcamp and LocalGlobe.
Starting Thursday, Yonder will open its waitlist to customers in London, who can apply to join its Founding Members’ programme for early access to the credit card.
Investors in this round
The round was co-led by London’s Northzone and LocalGlobe VC firms, with Seedcamp participating alongside a host of angels, including Sharmadean Reid, Marshmallow founders Alexander Kent-Braham and Oliver Kent-Braham, and former England professional footballer Rio Ferdinand.
Northzone is an early-stage VC fund that has over $1.7B in assets under management. To date, the firm has raised nine funds and invested in more than 150 companies, including Spotify, iZettle, Avito, Kahoot!, Hopin, Klarna, and Personio.
Jeppe Zink, General Partner at Northzone, says, “Yonder is creating a modern, digital credit card experience for young professionals that replaces outdated loyalty programmes with a highly curated experience-based membership service. There is an urgent need to redesign the payments industry with the customer at the heart – and Yonder is doing exactly that.”
LocalGlobe is a venture capital firm focused on Seed investments, primarily in the UK. Some of the startups that it has backed include Wise, Zoopla, Improbable, Oxford Nanopore, Graphcore, Cazoo, Improbable, Zego, Multiverse, TravelPerk, and Robinhood.
Carlos Espinal, Managing Partner at Seedcamp, says, “We backed the team at Yonder because they have a vision for how credit products need to evolve from where they are today, catering to the few and well established, rather than enabling a new generation of customer to live life and experience the best of what their local community has to offer.”
How was Yonder born?
The concept for Yonder was born in 2021 from CEO Tim Chong’s frustration with the struggle of accessing a quality credit provider as an Australian in London – despite an excellent credit score back home. While credit cards hold the key to building a credit score, securing purchase protection, managing cash flow, and numerous membership perks, Chong found countless customers were underwhelmed by the options available.
According to a statement from Yonder, the market size for ‘credit invisible’ customers, who are underserved by current credit providers, stands at 5 million people across the UK. Yonder’s mission is to restore consumers’ confidence in credit, eliminating stress and complexity from the customer experience.
Tim Chong says, “For too long, credit cards have taken advantage of consumers. Hidden fees, discriminatory credit scoring, and rewards that belong in the 1990s, all in the interest of the bank’s quarterly earnings. We’re challenging the status quo with a beautiful card that helps our members to discover the best of their city, and a promise to put the customer first.”
What does it offer?
Yonder offers a rewards programme designed around people’s lifestyles, inspired by hundreds of user research sessions with Londoners from around the globe to learn how they really spend their time and money.
The company’s credit card will provide members with access to exclusive drinking, dining and leisure experiences with partners including The Gladwin Brothers and Kricket restaurants, plus the ability to spend abroad with zero FX fees.
Yonder’s approach is to evaluate credit suitability, which is based on transaction data, using open banking to build a more nuanced, personalised picture of its customers’ spending habits than relying on traditional credit checks alone. Yonder secured FCA authorisation in just nine months.
Joining Chong on his mission to transform customers’ relationships with credit are co-founders Theso Jivajirajah and Harry Jell, also of ClearScore, alongside senior talent from Monzo and Wise.
Chong says that the raised capital will help the company to expand its team and build an ‘incredible’ selection of rewards and features. “We’re thrilled to have the backing of investors with such a strong track record in propelling consumer fintechs to success. Our members are adventurous spirits who want to unlock the best of their cities, and we’re partnering with some of the coolest experience providers in London to make sure their Yonder membership will deliver bang for their buck.”