UK Fintech Startup ilumoni Acquires £1.2M in Seed Funding, Receives FCA Authorization

ilumoni, a Fintech app that aims to assist consumers with borrowing, has secured £1.2 million in an over-subscribed seed funding round. ilumoni has finalized its round after introducing the Beta version of its app earlier this year.

ilumoni is a “purpose-led,” AI-enhanced Fintech solution provider that previously acquired  £455,000 in capital through pre-seed funding. The company has also rolled out the initial build of the first version of its app. In January 2021, the app reportedly received full authorization from the UK‘s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The app has also managed to attract its first beta users.

The free-to-use app assists consumers with better understanding and managing how they borrow funds. ilumoni aims to offer rich, personal insights into how people borrow and pay back money, with complete visibility of what they might owe, including how long it could take to make repayments and how much their borrowing will end up costing them in interest. These features are reportedly combined with prompts and future scenarios that consumers can engage with to determine repayment amounts or alternative products that might cost less in terms of interest.

This round of investment was over-subscribed. It has managed to attract 20 other angel investors as well. The capital acquired should help with taking the product to market. A general App and Play Store release are planned for later in 2021. Early adopters may act as beta users of the app through the official ilumoni website.

ilumoni has appointed investor James Eden and current investor Simon Moran to its board of (non-executive) directors.

Eden stated:

“While there are many emerging tools that champion consumers’ financial degrees of freedom, there aren’t any that provide an independent view of borrowing and debt, despite the impact it can have on people’s financial and mental wellbeing. The purpose behind ilumoni, level of innovation and credentials of the team were more than enough to convince me this was an investment worth making. So much so that I am delighted also to be joining the board.”

Ilumoni CEO, Gary Wigglesworth, remarked:

“We’re thrilled to have such a ringing endorsement of ilumoni with an over-subscribed funding round. There is a huge opportunity to help people to borrow well and it’s more important now than ever.”

The FCA reports that more than 50% of all UK adults have been paying interest on their borrowing, increasing to nearly two-thirds or 66% of working age adults. Recent stats from StepChange reveal that over 40% of consumers have reported a negative change in their circumstances since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Wigglesworth added:

“Many borrowers need to manage their debt better, yet there is very little help available until they’re faced with formal debt management, such as IVAs. As with anything, prevention is better than cure, and we believe in better borrowing for everyone. ilumoni provides a tool that not only demystifies borrowing but provides practical ways to relieve the stress of debt and reduce how much it costs. We can’t wait to show people how, very often, small changes can make a big difference, and encourage them to borrow well.”

The FCA study further noted that almost 60% (30.6 million) of UK adults are overwhelmed by or “overconfident” in their financial numeracy; 45% of 18-24 year-olds say their financial knowledge is fairly low (an increase from 1 in 3 back in 2017).

Wigglesworth also mentioned:

“Let’s face it, for most of us, calculating the cost of your borrowing and making sure you pay back optimally on the best deals is neither easy nor a fun way to spend your time. And we now expect young adults to emerge from school with financial literacy skills, yet they have no frame of reference. We want to change that and give people the tools to help them manage their borrowing, so that they can spend time on the things they want to do, knowing their borrowing is under control.”

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