Yonder, a new credit card startup from ClearScore alumni, today announced a £20M seed round ahead of its launch in the UK. The round was co-led by Northzone and LocalGlobe, with Seedcamp participating alongside a host of angels, including Sharmadean Reid, Marshmallow founders Oliver and Alex Kent-Braham, and Rio Ferdinand.
The concept for Yonder was born of CEO Tim Chong’s frustration with the struggle of accessing a quality credit provider as an Australian in London – despite a successful career and 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. 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.
“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 bank’s quarterly earnings,” said Yonder’s CEO and co-founder, Tim Chong. “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.”
Yonder offers a rewards programme designed around real 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. Yonder’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.
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Yonder takes a novel approach to evaluating 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’ relationship with credit are co-founders Theso Jivajirajah and Harry Jell, also of ClearScore, alongside senior talent from Monzo and Wise. Following a pre-seed round of £850k in February 2021 led by Seedcamp and LocalGlobe, Yonder’s total funding to date stands at £20.85M.
“The new funds will enable us to grow our 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,” said Chong. “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. We can’t wait for people to experience credit the way it should be.”
Jeppe Zink, General Partner at Northzone said: “We have seen the rise of a $300bn+ fintech industry, predominantly driven by customers demanding better seamless financial services, and yet a key service has not changed for decades: credit cards. 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.”
Remus Brett, General Partner at LocalGlobe added: “Credit has earned a bad rap, with companies benefiting from a huge profit pool while sidelining their customers’ best interests. We’ve been actively looking to invest in credit challengers, and Yonder has all the qualities we look for at LocalGlobe. The team has deep industry expertise, a magnetic consumer brand and a slick product. Above all, Yonder is a truly mission-driven business – and today, that’s a crucial factor in fintechs’ success.”
Carlos Espinal, Managing Partner at Seedcamp said: “Credit and credit products do much more than simply allow people to buy things, increasingly, they can be the conduit to showcase what you want to support, and how you want to live your life. 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.”
From today, 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.