Scaling up Start-ups 3

By Rich Hurley, Partner, Deloitte Digital, Scotland

Glasgow-based fintech company, Castlight Financial, is targeting international expansion after triumphing at Deloitte’s inaugural Disrupt the Enterprise event in Scotland. The business was selected as the winner, after competing with four other finalists: Saccade Diagnostics, Ahoi, Pixey, and Wallet Services. Saccade Diagnostics was voted “most disruptive” by the more-than 80 attendees at the event held in Deloitte’s Edinburgh Greenhouse.

As the victor, Castlight Financial, which is a strategic partner of consumer credit agency Equifax, will receive a secondment from Deloitte’s consulting practice and ongoing mentoring from the firm’s wider team.

Castlight was formed three years ago by Phil Grady and Pearse Flynn to give lenders a more accurate understanding of consumers’ purchasing power – aggregating data from multiple agencies to analyse disposable income and credit worthiness in real time. The company is engaged with 10 high street banks and four of the largest mortgage broker networks, while its platform is used by 60% of the UK’s personal insolvency market.

Phil Grady, CEO and co-founder of Castlight Financial, said the support from Deloitte would help the business grow its technology team, with plans to recruit five new software developers and engineers, as well as expand into North America.

Phil said: “Winning this competition confirms that we’re doing something different, reaffirming that the spirit on which we built Castlight was sound. The model we’ve developed is the only offering of its kind in the world and an accolade of this stature confirms we’re continuing to head in the right direction.

“The secondment from Deloitte will be a massive help, adding to our existing team and giving us some additional invaluable experience. It will help us look at how we build our technology team and take our services beyond the UK – with North America among our primary targets for expansion.

“The problem we’re looking to solve is the same the world over: defining affordability. Credit data is only one indicator of a person’s financial situation – what we’re doing can transform financial services, taking much of the risk out of lending and making the credit market more transparent and open.”

Rich Hurley, Partner at Deloitte Digital, added: “The quality of the candidates in this first year of the competition was very strong and it’s to Castlight’s credit that it finished top. The company stood out for the originality of its idea, its potential for growth, and the depths to which it can change the lending industry.”

Hannah Moore, the analyst in Deloitte’s consultancy practice who will be seconded to Castlight Financial, commented: “Castlight has an exciting future ahead – hearing the team’s ideas and ambitions underlined what an exciting opportunity it will be to work with them. I look forward to working with Phil and Pearse to help grow the business in the next six months.”

In a recent interview with Vimi-Grewal-Carr, one of our judges at the event and Managing Partner for Innovation at Deloitte and Alex Dundson, Co-Founder at the Bakery, Alex highlighted three top tips for corporates wanting to collaborate with start-ups:

  • “Treat start-ups as partners, not suppliers. And forget Dragon’s Den - the best relationships are built on a foundation of mutual respect.
  • Commit resource and budget upfront and have a programme for engagement. Bring in key stakeholders right from the beginning, including those who might need to help you navigate various protocols to get experiments off the ground (procurement, finance, risk).
  • Get ready to embrace a new way of working - view this as an incredible opportunity to learn and motivate your team to do things differently. It could well become the most exciting part of your job!”

You may also be interested in:

Disrupt the Enterprise: five ways corporates can help start-ups excel in Scotland

Edinburgh Greenhouse and Studio point’s way forward for Deloitte’s digital future

Planting the seed of business growth in the Deloitte Greenhouse

The Age of the Data Scientist – Data Changes Everything..

Innovation is part of the fabric of Scotland – Fintech, an opportunity for Scotland

Made in Scotland: building a Scottish technology legacy

How do you create a culture of innovation in your business?

- ENDS -

Hurley, Rich Photo

Rich Hurley - Partner, Deloitte Digital, Scotland 

Rich is one of our Financial Services Partners who leads Deloitte Digital in Edinburgh. 



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