Fintech turns £350m Tide with Apax Digital investment

Tide, the digital business banking group, is closing in on a new round of funding led by the growth arm of one of Britain’s biggest private equity firms.

Sky News has learnt that the Apax Digital Fund is close to finalising an injection of tens of millions of pounds into Tide in a deal that is understood to value the company at around £350m.

Sources said the funding round – Tide’s first since 2019 – was likely to be publicly confirmed later this month.

Tide was set up in 2015 by George Bevis, who was replaced as chief executive by Oliver Prill in 2018.

Last year, the company named Sir Donald Brydon, one of Britain’s most prominent businesspeople, as its chairman.

It has built a customer base of nearly 350,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, accounting for a UK SME banking market share of over 5.5%.

Mr Prill has been an outspoken critic of aspects of Britain’s business banking sector, arguing in March that reforms called ‘open banking’ overseen by the UK competition watchdog risked being stymied by the major high street lenders.

Tide’s existing investors include Augmentum Fintech, the listed backer of fast-growing digital financial companies, LocalGlobe and The SBI Group, a Japanese-based investor.

FT Partners, the US-based investment bank which focuses on the burgeoning fintech industry, is advising on the funding round.

Tide and Apax declined to comment on Tuesday.