20 January 2020
Funds advised by YFM Equity Partners (“YFM”) have backed a £5.6m investment into Unbiased EC1 Limited (“Unbiased”) to support the continued growth of the team and its financial advice marketplace. YFM’s investment comes from its two advised VCTs, British Smaller Companies VCT plc and British Smaller Companies VCT2 plc, alongside YFM Equity Partners Growth II LP.
Unbiased is the leading online platform for connecting millions of people to the trusted financial specialists across Financial Adviser, Mortgage Broker and Accountancy markets. Unbiased partners with professional advisory firms offering a range of tools to help them acquire, track and manage their new business pipeline. The service is free for consumers and offers the widest choice of advisers in the UK, using smart technology to identify the best available expert for their specific needs, helping its users make confident and knowledgeable financial decisions.
Consumers are confused by constantly changing financial regulations, are worried about fraud and scams, are unclear on how much advice costs and how they can benefit from expert guidance when making big financial decisions. Unbiased’s smart search, information and tools take the difficulty out of selecting the most appropriate adviser who is appropriately qualified and regulated and delivers to professional advisory firms a stream of high-quality curated leads.
The business, led by CEO Karen Barrett at its London head office, employs 46 staff and has recently seen rapid growth, with over 27,000 professionals on the platform who between them manage over £14 billion in assets. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over 10 million people each year require financial advice and a large proportion of them struggle to identify the right adviser for their needs, presenting a huge opportunity for Unbiased and the professional advisory firms it serves.
YFM’s investment will be used to support the continued growth of the business as it scales to meet the current market opportunity, with Unbiased expanding its team in the UK and overseas as well as investing in product development and increasing brand presence. These newly created roles will enable the business to continue to further develop its market-leading proposition and to grow its customer base.
Karen Barrett, Founder and CEO of Unbiased, added:
“It’s fantastic to have the support of YFM as we look to grow the company and scale Unbiased’s technology. I could not be more excited about the opportunities ahead and to have found an investor that understands and shares this vision. This round of funding comes at a time of rapid growth, with the Unbiased service becoming increasingly popular as a way for professional advisers to grow their own businesses. We’re now able to capitalise on the huge opportunity that lies ahead and bring the expertise of those on our platform to more consumers
The financial advice market is fragmented and needs to evolve, so we’re building Unbiased to be the brand of choice when looking for a financial adviser. With our unique matching technology, we’re putting trust, transparency, and convenience at the heart of the consumer experience.”
Andy Thomas and Helen Villiers led the investment for YFM. Andy Thomas commented:
“We quickly saw the value that Unbiased delivers to consumers and professional network alike; streamlining the decision-making process. Unbiased is exactly the type of high-growth business we want to support and fundraising at this time makes perfect sense. Karen has built a strong team around her and we are excited about the future growth this capital will allow. We have been hugely impressed with the team’s ambition and vision, as well as the culture the business has created.”
Financial and Commercial Due Diligence were provided by Whitecap Consulting, legal advice to YFM by Pannone Corporate LLP, Organisational review by Anna Cornwallis of Stratton HR and Technical Due Diligence by Turous Ltd. Legal advice to Unbiased was provided by Katie Cotton of Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP.