Business

Belfast digital start-up secures six-figure funding boost to develop rewards app

Pictured are: Ryan McAnlis from techstartNI; loyalBe founder, Cormac Quinn; and David Thompson, senior manager for open banking at Danske Bank

ONE of the north's most promising fintech start-ups has secured a six-figure investment to develop its innovative rewards app.

LoyalBe, which aims to replace paper loyalty cards with one single mobile app, has received funding from techStart NI and a number of private investors as it looks to expand its market presence.

Founder Cormac Quinn believes the major investment will help "fuel growth" at the company.

“We intend to use the funds to build a team to help us execute our plans faster, secure our Financial Conduct Authority licence and to fuel growth," Mr Quinn said.

“Our product is currently being tested with a handful of local retailers and we are currently looking to expand this trial, with a full public launch to follow later in the year.”

Ryan McAnlis from seed capital investment fund techstartNI said they are delighted to join with Cormac in the formative stages of his business' journey.

"We have been impressed by his technical and commercial acumen and believe that the timing for a game changing approach to loyalty and customer retention is upon us," he said.

The funding support comes just over a year after loyalBe won the inaugural £60,000 Open Banking Challenge, a competition run by techstart NI and Danske Bank. Since then the tech firm has been working to refine its product with Danske Bank as a resident of the Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub, located in the bank's Belfast headquarters on Donegall Square West.

David Thompson, senior manager for open banking at Danske Bank added:

“Danske Bank is delighted to see loyalBe securing the funding needed to take the business to the next stage. We have worked closely with Cormac to help him to bring the concept to life, allowing him to test the app with Danske Bank staff.

“Since pitching his initial concept to us in early 2018, we have seen loyalBe develop into an app that now makes use of open banking, linking to bank account information to make sure users get rewards from the outlets they shop at most often, without having to claim points.”

In addition to the mentoring he has received from Danske Bank, Mr Quinn also recently completed the intensive 12-week Ignite NI Accelerator programme, where he got the opportunity to pitch loyalBe to investors in London, Dublin and San Francisco.

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