Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Thought Machine announces $125 million series B funding round – driving continued international and APAC expansion

5 min read

By Thought Machine

UK-based core banking tech provider Thought Machine has announced expansion plans in Asia Pacific to support the transformation of the APAC retail banking market with cloud native technology.

  • Thought Machine targets international expansion, product development and APAC market with fresh injection of capital
  • Round closed with additional $42m in series B funding from Eurazeo Growth, British Patient Capital and SEB
  • Thought Machine has also expanded product compatibility to all major cloud providers and will be making major client announcements in the coming months

Thought Machine, the cloud native core banking technology firm, with its Asia Pacific (APAC) headquarters in Singapore, today marks its entrance into the APAC market by announcing the signing of an additional $42 million in funding for its series B round. This round extension will close in early August and is led by Eurazeo Growth, with British Patient Capital and SEB also coming in as new investors. 

This brings the round’s total value to $125 million following $83 million secured in March led by Draper Esprit and joined by Lloyds Banking Group, IQ Capital, Backed and Playfair Capital.

The cloud native core banking technology company, headquartered in London and with its second largest office in Singapore, has announced this round of funding will support the transformation of the APAC retail banking market with cloud native technology, solving bank reliance on legacy IT. 

Thought Machine’s Singapore-based managing director APAC, Nick Wilde, said: “The emergence of digital and neo banks is changing the APAC banking industry rapidly. This creates an urgent need for traditional banks to adopt solutions that provide innovation, agility and scalability. We help banks across APAC to move away from outdated legacy platforms, and the associated complexities and costs. With Vault, incumbent banks can implement core banking on their own terms and configure retail banking products easily and quickly, leveraging cloud native technologies.”

Founded in 2014 by former Google engineer Paul Taylor, Thought Machine has built Vault, a modern cloud native core system for banks constrained by legacy technology. It does not contain a single line of legacy or pre-cloud code, enabling traditional banks to transform and adopt modern, cloud native systems. Its scalable, secure, and flexible API-driven solution unlocks the banking industry's ability to innovate and offer customised products and personalised customer experiences, while ensuring security, cost effectiveness and virtually zero downtime.

Taylor said: "The prospect of transitioning to cloud native technology is now at the forefront of every major bank’s roadmap. Plans have been hastened in the wake of regulatory pressure, economic uncertainty and the need to manage cost-income ratios. Our flagship core banking product, Vault, brings the best in agility, resilience and security and is being used by major banks and fintech companies around the world. We are delighted to partner with Eurazeo Growth, British Patient Capital and SEB, which demonstrates ongoing investor interest in our technology and the significant market opportunity we are addressing."

Over the last months, the company has scaled up international hiring, adding 100 employees in the first two quarters of 2020 across three regions. Thought Machine has also expanded product compatibility to all major cloud providers and will be making major client announcements in the coming months.  

With this new round of financing, Thought Machine will continue to invest in growing its business at international scale – hiring key roles in APAC, US and Australia - while continuing to develop new products and features, including its upcoming advanced payments solution.

In addition to Eurazeo Growth and BPC, SEB, a customer of Thought Machine, joins this round. The incoming investment follows a period of testing and implementation of Thought Machine’s core banking platform into SEBx – SEB’s strategic initiative focused on exploring new technologies and future customer offerings. SEB’s participation in this funding round solidifies their commitment to exploring and leveraging the benefits of modern core banking.

Thought Machine publicly names SEB, Lloyds Banking Group, Atom bank and Standard Chartered Bank as clients. Over the coming months, Thought Machine will be naming several new leading European fintech companies as clients. 

"We have been working with Thought Machine as part of SEBx’s technology exploration for some time now, building financial products and services in completely new ways. Thought Machine brings a fresh perspective to a traditional industry and our investment is a natural next step as we deepen and broaden the relationship. We are excited to join Thought Machine on this journey, thus far as a partner and now also as an investor, bringing together the strengths of the SEB Group with promising new technologies," remarked Christoffer Malmer, head of SEBx.

Eurazeo Growth is the growth equity arm of Eurazeo, an investment company in Europe, with $22.06 billion (EUR18.8 billion) of assets under management. Eurazeo Growth actively contributes to the emergence of leaders in the technology sector by backing promising entrepreneurs with the purpose to drive the European innovation ecosystem forward. Eurazeo Growth has invested in Thought Machine to support the roll out of the company’s superior core banking solution globally and to assist in delivering strong organic growth over the long term.

Zoé Fabian, managing director, Eurazeo Growth  added: "Our investment in Thought Machine demonstrates our belief in the technology Paul and the team have been building and the importance of cloud native technology for the finance industry. Banks around the world are undergoing a fundamental digital transformation while moving to the cloud in response to increasing regulatory complexity, more sophisticated customer needs and growing competition from new entrants. Fintechs are maturing to position themselves meaningfully in the value chain. Thought Machine’s commercial traction is a testament to that paradigm shift. This is why we are so excited about partnering with Thought Machine."

"Direct investment by British Patient Capital, alongside our fund managers IQ Capital and Draper Esprit, will be a significant step forward to achieving our long-term vision for more home-grown and fully-funded high growth companies to fulfil their potential to be players on the global stage. We have followed Thought Machine’s development closely, and have been particularly impressed with the scale of the team’s ambition. By focusing on transforming core banking technology Thought Machine can bring innovation, agility and resilience to banks around the world. We are delighted to be a long-term investor in the business," remarked Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO, British Patient Capital.

British Patient Capital is the largest domestic investor in venture and venture growth capital in the UK. The participation in Thought Machine’s series B round is one of the first direct investments by British Patient Capital in a company as part of a long-term co-investment strategy that identifies and supports high-potential, later-stage UK companies in its underlying portfolio. British Patient Capital had prior exposure to Thought Machine via its investments in Draper Esprit, who led the Series B round, and the IQ Capital Growth Fund. IQ Capital led the Seed round in the company in 2016. 


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