BBVA, Anthemis invest in U.K. gig economy fintech Wollit

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BBVA and venture capitalist Anthemis Group are providing seed funds to U.K. fintech Wollit that will offer a subscription-based cash flow product for gig economy workers.

The seed funding is provided by BBVA’s and Anthemis Group’s Venture Creation Partnership, which was founded in 2018. Its other investors included Plug & Play Ventures, Form Ventures, MAHR Projects and other notable angels, Wollit reported in its blog post . Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This funding supports our first product, The Wollit Income Promise, which offers a financial safety net for the 14 million U.K. workers whose income fluctuates from month-to-month. With this, we set to end their monthly gamble of feast or famine and provide a safer, more sustainable option than the short-term, risky alternatives,” Liad Shababo, Wollit's CEO, said in a press release.

Separately, Finextra announced that the BBVA & Anthemis investment was part of a £1 million seed fundraising round.

Wollit stated that its Income Promise product is an income stability tool that enables workers to take home the same amount of money each month even if their hours and earnings fluctuate by using its subscription-based service.

The primary target of the Income Promise are gig economy workers or what Wollit called “zero-hour workers,” people whose contracts do not guarantee any hours of work at all. Examples of these types of workers could include food delivery people working for Deliveroo. Wollit reported that its total addressable market comprises 43% of the U.K. workforce who live without the financial security of a stable income.

Wollit considers its product to be socially sensitive to the plight of millions of workers whose income fluctuates with every pay period. The Income Promise product will be accessed by downloading an Apple or Android app and answering a few basic questions to determine a worker’s credit limit which is personalized for each applicant.

Each month if a worker is short of their usual earnings, Wollit will offer a direct debit top-up offer, as it does not exceed their total credit limit and the user's subscription fees are up to date. In the months the worker exceeds their normal earnings, Wollit will seek to recoup the top-up funds owed.

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