Tom Blomfield will be speaking at our upcoming Sifted Summit on October 5-6. Get your tickets here.
Tom Blomfield is one of the most recognizable faces in European technology.
Over the past decade, he co-founded two fintech companies valued at over $1 billion: GoCardless in 2011, with Hiroki Takeuchi and Matt Robinson; and Monzo in 2015 with Jonas Hackstein, Jason Bates, Paul Rippon and Gary Dolman.
In both cases, he became the face of those companies, and in the case of Monzo, of the shiny new neobank movement that promised to take retail banking digital.
But the company’s growth from startup to scaling, and then the pandemic, put pressure on the founder. Since he left from neobank in January 2021, he enjoyed spending time out of the spotlight (bar a last blog post which knocked the fintech world for six).
But we can’t help but notice that he’s been very busy behind the scenes an angel investor at that time.
Despite the presence the Sifted once said that he didn’t think he would have the ability to invest in angels, Bloomfield has backed 26 startup rounds in the past 12 months, according to Sifted research. Blomfield declined to comment on that part.
In just the last month, Sifted has been introduced three seed rounds and one Series B that had his name on it — Penny, Lottie, Condense and Patchwork Health.
So we thought it was time to round up the companies that now feature Blomfield on their tables.
Here are the young startups he found worthy of his hard-earned cash.
Latest Funding: Series B for £20m
What does it do? Patchwork was founded in 2016 by two National Health Service doctors, Dr Anas Nader and Dr Jin Ouyang, to address a staffing crisis in the UK healthcare workforce. NHS teams can manage their temporary and permanent staff through platform features such as ‘staff banks’ to exchange staff between neighboring healthcare organisations; regular schedules; and access to agency managers for temporary staff. Their recent Series B round was led by European PE firm Perwyn with backing from Praetura Ventures and KHP Ventures. Social Chain co-founder Dominic McGregor also invested alongside Blomfield.
Latest Funding: 4.5 million dollars seeds are round
What does it do? Condense calls itself a metauniverse infrastructure startup. It is built end to end capture and broadcast technology so you can stream live real-world events like music and sports to metaworld games, mobile apps, and platforms built with the Unity or Unreal Engine game engines. And you don’t need a VR headset for that. LocalGlobe, Songkick co-founder Ian Hogarth, and a mysterious platinum-selling “grime artist” and “ex-England footballer” all backed Condense alongside Blomfield.
Latest Funding: £6m seed round
Sector: Silver economy / health technology
What does it do? Lottie was founded in 2021 to address the crisis in the UK aged care market. It is a comparison house market designed to make it easier for people to find suitable homes for their relatives. It received backing from US investor General Catalyst in July, and the likes of Kindred, Accel, Lendable co-founder Victoria van Lennep and again Dominic McGregor have also invested alongside Blomfield.
Latest Funding: 4 million pounds
What does it do? Penny aims to help UK workers find the many different pension funds they may have accumulated from different jobs and bring them together under one roof. It uses artificial intelligence to generate different funds that they could open when they joined different companies. Last month, the company raised £4 million in seed funding from Google Gradient Ventures, Blomfield and other big fintech businesses, Payhawk co-founder and general director Hristo Barysau.
Latest Funding: 158 million dollars Series C
What does it do? Entrepreneur First needs little introduction for those working in the European startup world. Her program pairs aspiring founders with potential co-founders in a Love Island-like way. It was a brand new approach to building companies in Europe when it launched 10 years ago — and the first cohort returned 17x to investors. His latest round of funding attracted an all-star list of supporters including Blomfield, Stripe founders Patrick and John Collison, Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, and many others.
Latest Funding: $7 million seed round
Sector: HR technician
What does it do? Screenloop bills itself as an end-to-end “hiring intelligence” platform that aims to improve all aspects of the hiring process — including eliminating hiring bias. It uses data and artificial intelligence to identify gaps in the process, provide feedback to candidates, and provide real-time coaching to interviewers on their decision making. It received backing from Blomfield, Stride VC, Passion Capital, Ludlow Ventures, Indeed.com founder Paul Forster, Onfido co-founder Iman Jubawi and others.
Latest Funding: Initial round worth $5.6 million
What does it do? Ellis is a new neobank specifically designed for international students moving to the US. There is different pain points for this market he aims to address — namely, quickly opening a debit account, getting a phone contract and completing the necessary immigration paperwork. It attracted an all-star list of investors for its seed round, including Blomfield, Kindred Ventures, Castle Island Ventures, 20VC, Pipe founder Harry Hirst and Sardine’s Ranjan soups.
Latest Funding: $15 million Series A
What does it do? Nigeria’s Umba is a digital bank that, like many others in the region, aims to provide banking services to those underserved by incumbent banks across Africa. It provides customers with free bank accounts, interbank transfers, peer-to-peer transfers, bill payments, and credit products (such as loans). Its Series A was backed in the spring by investors including Costanoa Ventures, Act Ventures, Lux Capital, Palm Drive Capital, Blomfield and Stripe employee turned solo VC Lachy Groom.
Latest Funding: Seed round for £8m
What does it do? Based in London logistics startup Packfleet was founded in 2021 by four Monzo alumni: Tristan Thomas, former VP of Marketing; Hugo Cornejo, former VP of Design; and engineers Josh Harnham and Robin Bilgill. It aims to improve the delivery process for its two customers on both ends of the deal: small and medium businesses and commodity buyers. It solves pain points such as not being able to reschedule a delivery if it is due to arrive at an inconvenient time. He enlisted the support of three Monzo leaders: Blomfield, co-founder Jonas Templestein, and Russell Smith, a former marketing director at the bank. In its latest seed round, it won the backing of other big tech names, including Creandum, General Catalyst and Blomfield GoCardless co-founder Matt Robinson.
Latest Funding: $7 million seed
What does it do? Sona’s three co-founders are serial entrepreneurs. They are Rocket Internet co-founder Stephen Wolf Peterson and Catapult co-founders Ollie Johnson and Ben Dixon. The trio founded their workplace management software company, Sona, in 2021 to target front-line workers such as cleaners, healthcare workers and hospitality staff who are typically underserved by such software companies. Sona is designed as a one-stop shop for tasks such as scheduling, shift allocation, and attendance record keeping. Investors including Speedinvest and Gradient Ventures backed its seed round in March alongside Blomfield and other angels.
His 16 other choices were:
- Embroider moneyfintech
- Peequal, health technician
- Cassavainsurance technology
- Generation HomeFinTech (Blomfield is also on its board)
- up, fintech
- Robin A.Ilegal technology
- numeral, fintech
- Penta, fintech (and on our UK startups list)
- National MRIhealth technician
- Good courseedtech
- FrankieOne, SaaS
- Mojohealth technician