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HomeProfileAndrew Yates, CEO & Founder, FullCircl

Andrew Yates, CEO & Founder, FullCircl

Today I am delighted to bring you the profile of Andrew Yates, the Founder and CEO of FullCircl. The company works exclusively with the regulated industry sector to help organisations identify and acquire, verify, onboard retain and grow their clients. The company is actually comprised of a merger of three Great British FinTechs as Andrew describes below

Over to you, Andrew:


Who are you and what’s your background?

My name is Andrew Yates, and I am a Founder and tech entrepreneur on a mission to help regulated organisations do better business faster. I would define myself as a CEO, a proud father and husband, and someone with a consuming passion for old cars, history, red wine, and horology.

I played rugby professionally (with the scars to prove it) and as an 18-year-old elected to study Sports Science with a business and marketing twist (a long way away from software). Back in the day when rugby was an amateur game, one needed a day job! I secured a position as a junior salesperson (like a modern-day apprenticeship) with a small independent computer software company that at the time happened to be sponsoring the club I played for. This job opened the door to the most exciting industry on the planet – software – and I’ve not looked back.

In the years since I’ve been fortunate to have founded two successful software companies and so far, have acquired two more – it’s been an interesting and eventful journey and one which is still only just beginning in many ways!   I feel I have lots more to accomplish both professionally and personally.

What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?

As CEO my key accountabilities include responsibility for our vision and culture, our big relationships with customers, partners, and investors and shareholders.  I’m part of the ministry of big ideas and a coach and mentor to our ever-growing and highly talented team. Incidentally a good coach must be coachable which is why relatedness (the way I relate to people and they to me) is fundamental to how I conduct business on a daily basis.

Can you give us an overview of your business?

FullCircl is a software-as-a-service company which helps remove the regulatory and verification roadblocks on the way to faster growth.  We work with the regulated business sector (including banks, financial service providers, insurance businesses, and the gambling and gaming sector)

It’s adaptive, connected, and contextual technology that strengthens an organisations  customer and risk landscape understanding at scale.  Helping them identify and acquire, verify, and onboard, and to retain and grow customer relationships whilst balancing the needs of regulation and revenue generation.

FullCircl was created when we combined three great British fintech companies – Artesian Solutions (sales and relationship tech), DueDil (Know Your Business and onboarding automation) and W2 Global Data Solutions (Know Your Customer, identity verification, and Anti Money Laundering Orchestration).

We’re unique as the only platform combing RelTech, RegTech and RevTech together in – that’s where the name FullCircl came from (depicting the complete customer intelligence lifecycle) – giving us an exciting opportunity to drive the future direction of digital transformation.

Leveraging AI, ML, NLP, advanced analytics, graph technology, and industry leading API integrations, our customers can harness all access automation of the UK’s richest source of company data and intelligence via web-application or API.  Our suite of Smart products includes SmartBanker, SmartBroker, SmartOnboard, SmartAcquire, and W2 Global Data our identity verification platform.

Tell us how you are funded?

We started Artesian as a bootstrapped company with a simple idea – to use the web, social media, and emerging online news channels as a source of insight to drive better business conversations.   Our first banking customer was Barclays, quickly followed by HSBC, NatWest, Santander, Metro Bank, Lloyds and many more followed.

At this time, we decided to take VC funding and partnered with Octopus Ventures who have been brilliant supporters at every stage of our journey. Latterly we’ve also worked with Notion Capital and Volution Capital, as well as using debt refinancing as an instrument to fuel growth.

We’ve been able to maintain profitable growth since 2015 without further equity raises and have used debt-financing and existing equity as a mechanism to make two successful acquisitions as part of an inorganic roll-up growth strategy.

What’s the origin story? Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?

After building and exiting a successful marketing technology business which automated a lot of things agencies did for their customers, I had dinner with my co-founders to talk about the opportunities of using technology to solve the worlds problems. I scribbled seven ideas on a scrap of paper that night (which is framed in our head office) and one of them was to somehow harness the power of the internet as a source of business intelligence to drive better conversations every day.

It was 5th Sept 2005.  Twitter hadn’t started yet (officially) and Facebook was one of 20 social media platforms just getting going (Friends Reunited was the biggest in the UK!) and the web was a cluttered and unstructured mess! Business news came from newspapers and you there was no free daily reads, no SKY news or BBC online news.  At the time, as Artesian Solutions, we were one of the pioneers of the social selling era.

Over time we added company information using clever data-science to better link this information together than Companies House or from Credit Bureaus themselves; rules-based orchestration as a branch of AI, to help our customers figure out what the data means in terms of indebtedness, credit worthiness, lending exposure, risk, and opportunity; powerful graph technology for the processing of vast amounts of data and to map connections between companies; and most recently a range of identity verification solutions.nbsp;

Thereby creating a unique end-to-end solution for companies seeking to embed insight on global consumer and corporate customers through acquisition, onboarding, and ongoing monitoring.nbsp;

Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?

We have over 700 customers, 90% of whom are in regulated industry sectors with reach into 160 countries. We serve core banking customers such as NatWest, Lloyds, HSBC, Santander, Barclays, structured finance providers such as Lombard, Close Brothers, Premium Credit, payment providers such as AMEX and Hokodo, private banking such as UBS, HSBC, KH and of course our Fintech customers which include Funding Options, TIDE, Mettle and GoHenry.

We support 9 of the top 10 UK insurance brokers and 40 of the top 50, as well as leading insurers, MGAs, networks, and independent brokers; as well as a range of eGaming and iGambling customers.

Our revenue model is subscription based on either a per application-seat or via a consumption / transaction fee basis and is adaptable from smallest to largest.

If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?

Make it easier (and feasible) for agile, innovative software companies to work with large financial institutions, to change the world. We’ve managed to do this (to a degree) but it’s been hard yards.  We’re one of the lucky ones to have found great sponsors and visionaries in the customers we have served who have backed our ideas and innovation and taken a risk to sponsor us.

What is your message for the larger players in the Financial Services marketplace?

Think about how you do better business by design, by origin and how you can say yes (or no) to customers much faster. Of course, I imagine you are already thinking about this, every day – but how can you make this happen with pace and scale? Speak to your Fintech community with an open mind and risk-reward agenda. That would be my advice as well as making sure FullCircl are on your list!

Where do you get your Financial Services/FinTech industry news from?

In additional to FinTech Profile, we refer to a wide range of financial, insurance, gaming/gambling, technology, and business trade press publications.  Go-to titles include FinTech Futures, Financial IT, The Fintech Times, Insurance Post, Insurance Age, Insurance Today, PYMNTS, Gambling Insider and European Gaming.

Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech and/or Financial Services sector that we should be following on LinkedIn, and why?

  • Andy Gray, MD and Head of Commercial and Mid-Market at NatWest – he’s run some huge businesses but always has the humility, intellect, and curiosity (and time) to consider and sponsor innovation.
  • Ian Isaac, MD Lombard – an out and out commercial operator who totally gets where technology has a role to play in helping his people build repeatable, robust, and scalable customer relationships which endure.
  • Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options – a man with a plan and a strong Fintech vision and a firm believer in the power of Open Banking and data-driven lending.

What FinTech services (and/or apps) do you personally use?

FullCircl (of course), core banking online apps (can’t remember the last visit to a branch) and a plethora of online payment gateways.

What’s the best new FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?

Buy-now, Pay-Later outfit Zilch is definitely one to watch, with investment from eBay, and a potential IPO on the cards for 2025.  Computer vision’s ability to extract actionable insight from video data has really caught my eye, particularly its potential to expedite insurance claims.

Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?

Two trends spring immediately to mind.

Completely joined up customer experiences with interconnected financial services and products which are provider agnostic and selected by AI to suit the specific needs of the business or consumer.  And portable digital identity, offering the opportunity for us to take greater control of data and maintain verifiable profiles as we move through both the real world and meta-verse.  This would also be a major step forward in KYC for regulated businesses.

Also, I believe FinTech as a force for good will define future innovation.  Green fintech will increasingly play a vital role in accelerating the pace of transformation to a more sustainable global economy both in terms of helping business improve their green credentials as well as driving consumer behaviour change.


Thank you very much for taking the time to participate Andrew Yates!

If you’d like to find out more about FullCircl, you can visit them at https://www.fullcircl.com/ or reach out to Andrew and his team here on LinkedIn.

Ewan
Ewan
Ewan is Founder and Editor of FinTech Profile and Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of mobile and FinTech industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.
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