Digital finance firm Ffrees backed by syndicate of investors

Sheffield-based digital current account provider Ffrees has secured the capital it needs to introduce a mobile app and invest in customer interaction services.

Set up as an alternative to traditional high street banks and the current accounts on offer, Ffrees has closed a £2 million funding round as it looks to reach the one million customers mark within the coming five years.

The financial technology venture currently has 35,000 customers in the UK, and is signing up 1,000 additional users a week. Its current accounts, of which four are available, have ranging monthly fees and provide cashback as users spend. Also on offer are its ‘jam jars’, which ring fence funds to help with managing money.

Finance Yorkshire, Nesta and the Technology and Innovation Fund are taking part in the £2 million round, which will be directed toward expanding the platform though the launch of a mobile app as well as bolstering customer interaction offerings.

Alex Letts, founder of Ffrees, says that customers in today’s market are looking for ‘customisable data-driven services’ rather than ‘inflexible analogue products’.

‘They went to access their money at will from connected devices whenever and wherever,’ he adds.

‘And they want to pay a fair price transparently to a trusted provider. That is the model that we at Ffrees are building and this new investment helps to accelerate the rapid progress already being made.’

Ffrees is able to sign up customers faster because its lack of overdraft offering means that no credit checks need to be run. The technology provider is aiming to take customers away from the ‘debt mentality’ and encourage them to control their finances.

Alongside online access to accounts, Ffrees customers have access to a network of retailers offering cash-back payments.

The last funding round Ffrees closed was back in December 2013 when Finance Yorkshire and the Technology and Innovation Fund also led a £2 million deal alongside former head of investment banking at Merrill Lynch Europe Justin Dowley and former group finance director of Schroders Kevin Parry.

This latest round brings the total funding to £5.4 million over the past two years. It has come in four rounds since August 2012.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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