Thursday 12 July 2018 10:36 am

Going for gold: London fintech Glint is heading to the US and Japan, and will be raising £15m to do it

Glint, a London startup that lets you spend and save in physical gold, is looking to raise a £15m Series A to help bolster its target of launching in the US and Japan by the end of the year.

First launched in the UK in November last year, Glint offers its users a pre-paid Mastercard with which they can buy fractions of gold bars and then spend them in real-time at the point of sale, wherever they are in the world at the interbank rate.

City A.M. understands that while near-term goals are to launch a savings pot and the ability to attach a bank account, Glint is currently building out its proposition ahead of a third quarter-launch in the US, and a launch in Japan soon after.

"Since December, we've been working non-stop towards the US launch," said co-founder Ben Davies in a call.

"Right now, we have a gold liquidity account, and accounts for sterling, US dollars and euros."

"In the US, there's a natural philosophical bias for wanting to use gold and save in gold. So we'll launch there with a savings account, a currency account and a gold account, while rolling out about 20 new settlement currencies over the next two quarters to give our users the interbank rate."

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By the fourth quarter of this year, users will also be able to hold and spend in Canadian dollars, yen and Hong Kong dollars, as well as have a personal IBAN. At the same time, Glint's been exploring opportunities with the help of its existing investors NEC Capital Partners and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange to launch in Japan by the end of 2018.

To even the trained eye, it would appear that Glint is growing at a near meteoric rate for a startup in the UK's fastest-growing sector. The company now has a US office up the road from Google and Amazon's new tech campuses in Boulder, Colorado, as well as a London office which is looking to double its staff numbers over the next year.

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Davies said that while a lot of that is down to sheer hard work, Glint has been able to "signficantly de-risk" its business through making distribution partnerships in all three territories.

He explained: "A lot of hard work has been done by the business development team to build some incredible partnerships, which in the US will see us reach around 40m people per month.

"The potential there is a really significant transformation for our business, and as a result we've been able to grow ourselves much faster. With these deals, we're achieving five years of growth in two to three years."

This is what the next round of fundraising is going to power. While the names of its new investors have remained under wraps for now, a small portion of its £15m raise will be done through a crowdfunding round.

From operational costs to a marketing budget, everything is being done at the most cost-effective rate possible to fast track Glint's growth.

"I think the great thing about companies like us who are emerging in financial services sector is that we’re not constrained by borders.

"Others like Natwest, RBS or Santander are constrained by a national identifier. We are ubiquitous, and are being seen as the same all over the world."

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