Antony Jenkins, founder of 10x Future Technologies and former CEO of Barclays.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
LONDON – Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins’ financial technology company has raised £ 132.5 million ($ 186.6 million) from investors to expand into North America.
10x Future Technologies was founded by Jenkins in 2016 after being ousted by Barclays a year earlier. The company’s aim is to support banks in converting legacy systems to cloud-based technologies.
In the UK, for example, 10x is working with Nationwide on the lender’s digital banking ambitions, while in Australia, Westpac’s start-up technology is being used to enable the instant buy company Afterpay to offer savings accounts.
The company announced Wednesday that it had raised the fresh money in a funding round jointly led by BlackRock and the CPP Investment Board, which manages Canada’s retirement plan. Other investors in the final round of 10x were JPMorgan, Nationwide, Ping An and Westpac.
The deal offers a 10x valuation of about £ 500 million – about $ 704 million at current exchange rates – and puts it on the path to so-called “unicorn” status, where private technology companies are valued at $ 1 billion or more.
10x will use the new funding to expand into new markets such as the US and Canada and scale its platform to support dozen of banks’ digital transition plans, the company’s CEO said.
“We have now reached a crucial point where we want to scale massively,” said Jenkins in an interview with CNBC.
Jenkins has issued several warnings of the increasing threat posed by digital disruption to the banking sector. In 2015, for example, he predicted that in 10 years banks could close half of their branches and lay off half of their workforce.
Jenkins now says he “underestimated” how quickly lenders would throttle their brick and mortar businesses, adding that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the decline in personal retail business.
“Covid has accelerated throughout our lives, a huge step in digital adoption,” said Jenkins. “I think most people expect it to stay that way.”
Banks no longer viewed fintech as a “niche activity” five or six years ago, mostly used by millennials, and realized that “the future is digital,” Jenkins said. The UK banking sector has become increasingly competitive over the past decade, with new entrants like Revolut and Monzo attracting millions of customers.
10x achieved a turnover of 52.4 million pounds in 2019, almost four times more than the previous year with 13.5 million pounds. Start-up losses decreased from £ 16.2 million to £ 2.3 million.
Jenkins said he was focused on growing the company rather than achieving profitability in the short term, although the company plans to become profitable in the future.
The company’s competitors include Mambu, which raised $ 2.1 billion in cash in January, and Thought Machine, which was founded by former Google engineer Paul Taylor.