Free2, a new financial services brand for the over 55s market, has completed a fundraising round with NatWest Markets and a major European special situations fund.
Junior debt funding of £105m is being provided by the European special situations fund which will finance both working capital and customer loans. The funding will be used to support the launch of Free2’s first product in June.
Free2 was set up by Paul Lindsay, formerly of The eXchange, and is focused on developing innovative products aimed specifically at the 55 and over market.
It aims to harness the benefits of technology whilst maintaining human contact and providing a personalised service for its customers.
It has developed a proprietary platform that automates large parts of the application process whilst utilising innovative decision-based technology to address suitability criteria and to identify and protect potentially vulnerable customers.
Jamie Robinson, chief capital Officer at Free2, said: “It is largely unprecedented for a start-up to sign such significant credit facilities with institutional partners.
“That we’ve been able to do so is a powerful endorsement of our business proposition and the brand that Free2 plans to develop.”
Free2’s first product, which has been in testing and development for two years, will offer an alternative option for individuals seeking later life lending products.
Lindsay said: “Free2 was built out of a recognition that financial services have not kept pace with the changing demands of modern retirement.
“As a result, a large segment of the market does not have access to financial products that are appropriate for their goals and objectives once they reach 55.
“Our mission is to change that. By catering specifically for these customers, we’re seeking to create products that promote freedom and choice and that provide opportunity rather than limitations for those assessing what they want to achieve in retirement. We call it financial freethinking, and today’s announcement is an important milestone as we begin that journey.”