Hearstlab invests in London fintech company Akoni
HearstLab, an investor in women-led startups, has invested in London-based financial technology company Akoni.
This is the first investment for HearstLab’s U.K. location, which aims to close the gender gap in venture capital funding. The announcement was made by HearstLab Chairwoman Eve Burton and Akoni Chief Executive Officer Felicia Meyerowitz Singh and Chief Technology Officer Panos Savvas.
Akoni provides easy to use cash management tools for individuals and small and mid-size enterprises. The company has developed a range of features for personalizing cash solutions using multiple data sources and data science to enable multi-bank management and increasing returns on cash. Akoni works with a variety of U.K. financial institutions, including wealth managers, wealth platforms and charities.
Eve Burton, Chairwoman, HearstLab: “We are excited to announce that Akoni will be our first investment in the U.K. Their digital tools and customer-centric experience are unmatched, and we look forward to helping them continue to grow and innovate,” Burton said.
HearstLab works with female founders to build sustainable and highly scalable businesses. In addition to financial investment, the startups gain unrivalled access to the expertise within Hearst-owned Fitch Group, a global leader in financial information services, and Hearst across its U.S., U.K. and Netherlands operations. Startups will be given expertise in financial services and assistance with privacy and security; legal services; and branding, marketing, advertising and editorial support. They will also benefit from the guidance and support of HearstLab Scouts, women leaders across Hearst’s global businesses and Fitch. HearstLab has a full-time dedicated team assisting with UI/UX, DevOps engineering, data security, data science, business development, market research and recruiting.
Felicia Meyerowitz, CEO, Akoni: “We look forward to working with Hearst, whose deep industry knowledge and startup experience will be crucial in navigating the sweeping changes taking place across the fintech sector,” Meyerowitz said. “This support will allow us to drive our vision forward and increase the impact we can have across the business and retail sectors.”
Panos Savvas,Chief Technology Officer, :“With Hearst’s investment, we have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the U.K. fintech ecosystem,” Savvas said. “It will enable us to achieve our goal of providing a level of service to individuals and small businesses that traditionally only big-box corporations have received.”
Prior to becoming a HearstLab investment, Akoni launched a partnership with Fitch Solutions, a Fitch Group and Hearst business, which helps clients manage credit risk and provides in-depth insights into the debt investment market as well as comprehensive intelligence about the macroeconomic environment. By joining together, Fitch Solutions enabled Akoni to distribute its Financial Implied Credit Scores to help individual and small and mid-size clients make important banking decisions.
Karen Skinner, chief operating officer of Fitch Ratings and A member of the HearstLab Scout Advisory Group: “After considerable success in the U.S., it’s really exciting to expand HearstLab into the U.K. We look forward to seeing how Akoni grows with the backing of Hearst’s global network and resources, particularly the range of expertise available from across the Fitch Group of companies.”