Santander acquires self-employment finance app
There are 5.7 million SMEs in the UK. High street bank Santander, as part of its stated aim to support each one, has completed a takeover of Albert, the London-based FinTech startup that offers invoicing and expenses services to the self-employed.
It means that the whole business, staff and all, will be owned by the banking giant. The details of the deal struck between Albert's owners and Santander are undisclosed.
However, there will be no interruption to Albert's service, and freelancers can continue to use it as normal.
Albert, which markets itself as "your pocket bookkeeper", was founded in 2014 by Dan Bruce and Ivo Weevers, who themselves worked as freelancers. It grew quickly to become the top-rated, fastest-growing bookkeeping platform in the UK. They called it "a momentous day".
Ivo Weevers said: "Over the past three years, Albert has quickly become the UK's top-rated finance app for freelancers and the self-employed," said co-founder and CEO Ivo Weevers.
"With the self-employment sector growing rapidly, now is a perfect time to capitalise on the support and expertise provided by the Santander Group."
Santander's chief digital and innovation officer, Lindsey Argalas, said "Albert has a clear vision for how they can use technology to transform the experience of running a business.
"It is our shared belief that small businesses owners should have access to the tools that help them work smarter, and that deliver the same instant, seamless and personal experiences in finance, as they get in their daily lives.
"With Albert as part of the Santander team, we are a step closer to ensuring that more small businesses in the UK are able to prosper."