Atom Bank is the UK’s first fully licensed digital challenger bank. Founded in 2014 as the UK’s first app-only bank, Atom’s mission is to build the bank their customers would want them to be.
Digital mobile banking is a high growth channel driven by the use of smartphones and is already the predominant channel for current account interactions.
In 2020 mobile banking interactions are forecast to account for three times more interactions than internet, branch and telephone banking combined.
How did GCV support Atom?
In 2014, Atom raised £25 million to fund startup costs. The company received investment from some heavy hitters, including fund manager, Neil Woodford, veteran Venture Capitalist, Jon Moulton, and former Goldman Sachs asset manager, Jim O’Neill.
As well as appointing some key figures in the financial services sector to their team, building the app required by a digital-first bank, and raising £25 million, Atom recently received a UK banking licence from The Bank of England.
GCV went onto support Atom to close a £16 million investment round in 2017, that saw over 40 members of GCV’s private investor network (G-Ventures) invest £1m alongside one of Europe’s leading hedge funds.
With a huge amount of interest from investors who used GCV’s online investor platform to pledge, the offer was oversubscribed within a few days.
Norm Peterson, GCV CEO said:
“Our investors are drawn to disruptive businesses, those that can really make a positive difference. Atom is a perfect example of a business using technology to create and maintain a competitive advantage, challenging and changing the way things are done in the banking sector. Atom’s business model was one of the reasons for the positive interest from our investor network.”
How does Atom Bank make a positive difference?
Atom’s business offering consists of Fixed Rate Saving products, Business Banking Secured Loans and Retail Mortgages.
Using technology to create real value for customers and investors, the company prides itself on automation and data at its heart.
The low cost and agile infrastructure that Atom is built upon has enabled an offering of good value products to customers with a great user experience. Products can be scaled quickly resulting in delivering returns to investors.
Having created over 300 high-quality jobs means Atom are not competing for talent in a London market that will be even more challenging as technology giants Apple, Google and Facebook plough billions of pounds into the capital.
Atom has focused on creating a business with a lower cost base than their traditional banking competitors. A technology and digital focus mean Atom are not burdened by the cost of high street branches or legacy IT systems.
This translates to huge cost savings when compared with a traditional bank. More importantly, this lower cost base means Atom can provide better mortgage rates for borrowers and better interest rates for savers.
Atom are based in the north east of England, an area with one of the highest level of youth unemployment in the UK. Partnering with The Prince’s Trust, Atom provide mentoring and workshops to young people, so they feel better prepared to find work.
As community is of huge important to Atom they recently created Atom Incubator. Based in their Durham HQ, Atom Incubator offers professional advice, space and access to a community of technology startups and entrepreneurs.
In Nov 2017 Atom was named by social media site LinkedIn as one of the country’s 25 most disruptive companies. In addition to this the business were also crowned the winner of the Mobile Banking Disruper TFG excellence awards 2017.
One year on since Atom officially launched the UK’s first bank built exclusively for mobile, they have announced will.i.am as their first Strategic Board Advisor.
The entrepreneur, philanthropist, musician and consumer technology investor will take on the role of Strategic Board Advisor at the bank that has seen over £538m of deposits as of March 2017.
With more than 17,900 savers as of March 17 and a loan book of £99m, Atom’s app is currently available on the App Store and via Google Play.