Sonovate is trebling the size of its tech, product and development team as it responds to growing demand in the UK and internationally for its pioneering Lending as a Service (LaaS) offering. The hiring spree will see Sonovate’s tech team grow from 20 to 60 people by early 2022, by which time it will account for around half of the total workforce at the Cardiff and London-based company.
It comes as Sonovate, which provides tech-driven finance to businesses that use contractors and freelancers, accelerates its growth in the emerging LaaS space and promotes its position as a challenger to banks and other traditional lenders.
Since the beginning of 2020, the company has nearly doubled the number of multinational enterprises with turnovers of up to £200 million to which it provides finance and technology services. In the same period, the company has onboarded a record number of start-ups and SMEs outside of the recruitment sector, which has traditionally been Sonovate’s busiest industry vertical.
Sonovate, which was recently tipped by the UK government to become the first Wales-headquartered fintech to achieve a $1bn valuation, plans to start hiring internationally from 2023 – with colleagues ‘on the ground’ in continental Europe initially and then the US. Sonovate has provided nearly £2bn of funding in over 40 countries since 2013 – around half of this during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is a key time for any business focused on supporting freelancers and contingent workers,” said Richard Prime, co-founder and co-CEO at Sonovate. “Sonovate operates at the intersection of the future of work, technology and finance and we’re pleased to be bringing in some of the UK’s best tech and product talent as we embark on the next chapter of our growth story.
“We’re proud that we kept the funding taps firmly on during the pandemic, when many others didn’t, and I think the growth we’re seeing now is a reward for the faith we showed in our clients during a uniquely challenging time,” he added. “Here in the UK we’re only starting to see the potential of Lending as a Service. We’re pleased to be at the forefront of this emerging scene, which will be key to Sonovate’s continued growth over the coming years.”
In 2019 Sonovate secured £110m debt and equity finance, led by investment house M&G and tech entrepreneurs Michael and Xochi Birch. This followed the £10m it secured in debt funding from US bank PNC in 2015, and the £20m it raised in Series A and Series B funding rounds in 2016 to grow its product capabilities.