Pockit Secures $10 Million Funding to Expand Financial Services for Underserved Communities
August 3, 2023
London-based fintech firm Pockit has secured $10 million in a recent funding round led by Puma Private Equity, with participation from The North East Development Capital Fund. Pockit, founded in 2015 by CEO Virraj Jatania, aims to provide financial services to individuals overlooked by traditional banks. The latest funding brings the total raised by Pockit to approximately $50 million, with plans to further develop credit-building tools, introduce a buy now, pay later product, and expand into investments, insurance, and savings accounts.
Jatania, inspired by his family's struggles with financial services, emphasized Pockit's commitment to addressing the challenges faced by underserved communities. "Our challenge is to continue to grow steadily and responsibly while ensuring we're a service that people can rely on," he explained in a recent email interview with TechCrunch.
Pockit, initially established as a prepaid card service, has evolved over the years to offer a range of financial services tailored to its target demographic. These services include international money transfers, income advances, budgeting tools, and cashback deals through partnerships with major retailers like Primark, JD Sports, Sainsbury's, and Nike.
The company's expansion plans include the introduction of a buy now, pay later product. While such features are not universally considered consumer-friendly, Jatania defends Pockit's commitment to users' best interests. He points to a recent report indicating that nearly a third of U.K. residents face challenges accessing essential financial services, such as current accounts, debit cards, insurance, and tools for financial stability.
Despite concerns about the impact of instant cash advance and buy now, pay later features on users' financial well-being, Jatania argues that Pockit is uniquely positioned to serve its target audience. He acknowledges the need for responsible growth, particularly in the face of economic challenges like the cost of living crisis and rising inflation in the U.K.
Pockit, positioning itself as a "financial champion" for low-income and underserved communities, boasts an impressive track record. Since its launch, the platform has gained over 800,000 users and processed approximately $5 billion across more than 73 million transactions. The funding secured in this latest round will contribute to the expansion of Pockit's team, which currently consists of nearly 60 people, with plans to reach 100 by early 2024.
The fintech firm's mission aligns with addressing financial exclusion and supporting those who have traditionally been left behind by mainstream financial services. Pockit's unique approach involves leveraging technology to provide scalable and partnership-led solutions, with the ultimate goal of empowering users and improving financial stability for underserved communities.
Puma Private Equity, the lead investor in this funding round, sees significant potential in Pockit's tech-powered approach. Kelvin Reader, Investment Director at Puma Private Equity, emphasizes the importance of supporting underserved communities, especially in the current economic climate, and expresses confidence in Pockit's ability to address financial exclusion effectively.
As Pockit continues its journey as a financial services provider for the underserved, the recent funding injection positions the company to expand its offerings and reach an even larger audience. The commitment to responsible growth and addressing the unique needs of its user base positions Pockit as a key player in the ongoing efforts to enhance financial inclusion and empower individuals in the U.K. and beyond.