Bath-based fintech startup Roqqutt has been acquired by international payments group Equals Group for up to £2.25 million. The latter will pay an initial £1 million in cash, followed by subsequent payments dependent upon certain capabilities added to the platform, and are expected to be paid in under one year.

Roqqett is authorised by the FCA as both an AISP (Account Information Service Provider) and PISP (Payment Initiation Service Provider), two licences that Equals currently does not hold. These licences allow Roqqett to perform the full suite of open banking services, namely, to take payments and access financial data. As such, Roqqett can disrupt the traditional methodology of consumers paying merchants, both in person and online, via debit and credit cards.

Commenting on the exciting news, Glenn Smith, CEO of Roqqett tells us, “Roqqett has developed a unique checkout experience for the rapidly growing market in open banking payments. This offering is enhanced with the addition of Equal’s capabilities in IBANs and their membership of the Faster Payments Scheme. The team at Roqqett is looking forward to working with Equals to maximise the potential for both platforms arising from this Acquisition.”

Expanding capabilities with Roqqett

Roqqett was founded back in 2019 with the ambition to simply make payments better: for consumers, retailers and anyone who needs to pay or get paid safely and securely. Most of the card payment systems people use daily were invented 60 years ago, they think it’s time for an upgrade.

When using Roqqett, retailers keep more of the money they make as they offer much lower fees than any competitors. In their Startup for 10 feature, Glenn explains, “Yes we’re saving people money, but it’s so much more than that – we want to turn payments on their head: there are no terminals that merchants have to buy and they’re not locked in. For consumers, you can see all of your money in one place, no matter who you bank with. You can pay friends and buy goods and services, including making secure payments in shops from two metres away.”

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Roqqett and its cutting edge open-banking payment platform”

The benefits for Equals of this technology fall into three major categories. Roqqett enables Equals to take part in the full payment lifecycle for its Corporate and Enterprise customers by adding the B2B2B/C leg to the ultimate consumer. Direct account to account payments via Roqqett offers an alternative to debit cards, credit cards and traditional push payments, giving Equals B2B customers immediate access to funds sent by their B2C or B2B customers with a smoother consumer experience. Having this capability will widen the use-cases and addressable markets for both Equals Money and Equals Solutions.

The Equals infrastructure, incorporating the own-name IBAN capabilities and direct connection to Faster Payments, will significantly enhance the Roqqett proposition on a stand-alone basis.  The platform can be sold to merchants as a complete end-to-end solution encompassing the ability to process refunds automatically, a service not typically provided by ‘standard’ open banking integrations with third party bank accounts.

The data capabilities of the technology will allow Equals to make machine-learning-informed, rapid decisions on risk-management for B2B customers who are on the platform.  Equals will have complete transparency of the customer activity and as such can assess suitability for forward contracts and perform enhanced transaction monitoring.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of Equals adds, “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Roqqett and its cutting edge open-banking payment platform and to welcome Glenn and his team to the Equals Group. Similar to the Equals Connect transaction announced in October, the transaction is made possible by the continued strong performance of the Group and our surplus cash balances.

“The platform, underlying technology, and licences that we are acquiring fit well with our stated strategy of providing payments solutions to our B2B customer base. The ability to provide our corporate customers with an alternative route to acquire payments from their B2B or B2C customers is the last piece of the jigsaw in terms of Equals participation in the full payment lifecycle. This Acquisition allows us to fast-track this capability which in turn will widen our addressable markets for our services and ultimately drive growth.”

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.