FinTechNew markets

In the software-as-a-service era, are you still delivering bespoke projects for your clients?

Those days may be numbered, according to Jim Sadler, boss of FinTech firm finova.

Norland Capital launched finova last year following the acquisitions of DPR, eKeeper, SDM, Burrow and finally BEP Systems, a provider of cloud-based mortgage and savings software based in Manchester.

“In the early days, led by its founders, the [BEP Systems] business grew steadily and organically through the development of bespoke mortgage and savings solutions for each client,” Sadler, an IT transformation and turnaround specialist who was appointed finova managing director at launch, tells TechBlast.

“There was a pivot point – fuelled by investment from Norland Capital – which saw a change in strategy to become a software product provider focused more on driving advancements in technology across the entire market – and less on one-off  bespoke solutions. 

“This was in response to changing demands from clients who wanted much faster implementations, more configurable solutions, more rapid changes to things like pricing and rules, an ability to self-serve more of their system changes and to benefit from ongoing investment in the product. 

“Since then, the business has seen very rapid growth in its customer base across both the lender and broker channel.” 

 

finova’s core banking solutions serve more than 60 financial institutions, while it also has a platform used by more than 3,000 mortgage brokers to run their business as well as a suite of industry connectivity solutions, finova Connect, used by 200+ financial institutions for services such as payments and verification solutions.

“Our workforce has more than doubled in the last two years, with the team currently standing at around  390 people. We are continuing to expand this year and are on course to reach around 450 employees by the second  half of 2022,” says Sadler.

The business is moving to a hybrid model of working but has retained offices in Manchester, London and Bristol for in-person collaboration.

Managing business growth

Sadler says it is “100% focused on the UK market” but refused to rule out international expansion in the future.

“Our near-term growth plans are very much focused on the UK market, where we are already experiencing somewhat of a revival as the UK starts to emerge from the pandemic,” he explains.

“We’re very proud of this. It enables us to focus on where we believe we have unique expertise. 

“The biggest impediment to launching in any new territory is likely to be to do with local compliance and regulatory requirements… our solutions are highly configurable, so there isn’t a technical impediment for us in the core software when considering international markets.

 

“Many of our solutions are already ready for international markets – and we are certainly open to partnerships that may take us in that direction.

“We will be quite opportunistic about looking beyond the UK, looking for a combination of client demand, partnerships and local understanding to drive this element of growth.”