A U.K. credit card rewards startup aimed at millennials and Gen Z consumers has stumbled upon a combined business model that has now secured it £12.5 million ($15.4 million in an equity round from investors.
Yonder is a credit card closest in operation to Amex or Chase Sapphire in the U.S.; however, it combines that credit card shopping model with a points-based rewards scheme to use at London venues such as cinemas, wine merchants and eateries. In other words, it’s as if it was a combination of a travel experience startup and a credit card.
Indeed, co-founder Tim Chong, Yonder CEO told me: “One customer literally described us as a combination of Amex meets Secret London/NYC and Monzo.”
As well as the £12.5 millionin equity round it’s also raised £50 million of debt in order to expand its offers in the U.K., outside of its home base in London.
As Chong told me: “We’re not a bank. So we need to finance the credit card receivables when you spend on the card. It’s a debt warehouse. So the debt is financing the credit card assets specifically.”
The Series A funding round was backed by capital firms Northzone and RTP Global, with angel investors Joseph Moore, Crust Bros founder, and Kunal Shah, the founder of Cred, joining existing major shareholders Sharmadean Reid, GoCardless founder Matt Robinson and former footballer Rio Ferdinand.
“It’s bringing together much more of a city companion experience, rather than just doing a bunch of financial product. It’s very much experience-led, much more like how you could describe an Airbnb experience whereas versus the Booking.com experience. At the moment, just where we’re starting, but our plan is to take this global,” Chong added.
Expat founders Chong, Harry Jell and Theso Jivajirajah launched Yonder after being unable to find good credit options for “expats” in the U.K.
Yonder plans to extend its round to members through a private crowdfund, going live in April.
The funding has resulted in a post-money valuation of more than £70 million.