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Bank rival Tide lands new tech chief after raising £44m

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
The Tide app. Photo: Tide

Tide, the mobile-only challenger bank pitched at small businesses, has appointed a new chief technology officer.

New CTO Guy Duncan is set to join the digital banking platform. Duncan was perviously the chief technology officer at BMW’s connected car venture.

The executive-level hire comes a week after Tide announced it had raised £44m to fuel growth. The company currently employs 250 staff but hopes to grow that to 300 by the end of the year and is working on new products such as credit and expense management.

London-based Tide was founded in 2015, part of a wave of mobile-only banks and bank-like products. Unlike others such as Revolut or Monzo, Tide only offers business accounts and has attracted over 110,000 customers to date. Its account has specialist features such as payroll management and accounting integrations.

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Unlike other startups in the space, Tide is not a bank itself. Instead, it is a platform for banking products and services, and offers a current account supplied by licensed bank ClearBank. Tide CEO Oliver Prill said the startup wants to be the “operating system” for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

New Tide CTO Guy Duncan

Duncan said in a statement: “I see the digitisation of banking as still in its infancy. There is a huge opportunity to further unpack banking services, making them available in a truly digitally native context. Many small businesses still only have access to basic banking services which Tide can change.”

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Prill said of Duncan: “He knows the fintech sector, having spent a number of years as CTO of PayU, being closely involved in the credit and remittances aspect of the business, as well as managing international operations.

“His experience at BMW’s Connected Company means he has worked with top-tier technology, specifically cloud-based infrastructure and machine learning, and has successfully managed large teams in an agile manner.

“We’re very much looking forward to what he will bring to Tide.”

Tide claims to have a 12% share of new account openings in the SME market. The startup and its partner ClearBank recently won a £60m grant from RBS (RBS.L) as part of a government-ordered scheme meant to spur competition in the banking market.

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Oscar Williams-Grut is Yahoo Finance UK’s City correspondent. He covers banking, fintech, and finance for Yahoo Finance UK. Follow him on Twitter at @OscarWGrut.

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