9Spokes International Ltd (ASX:9SP) has signed a three-year contract with Virgin Money UK PLC (VMUK) (LON:VMUK) (FRA:42YA) to deliver a VMUK instance of the 9Spokes platform comprising Track, Connect and Explore for the bank’s SMB customers, and bank serving products Engage and Monitor.
The platform will form a core part of VMUK’s working capital health proposition and will transform VMUK’s digital banking proposition - providing SMB customers with the digital tools to monitor and sustain their business health.
Investors responded positively with shares up as much as 34% to A$0.02 on volume of more than 103 million.
Over the term of the contract, 9Spokes expects to receive one-off revenue attached to build and implementation and annual access licence fees of around US$2.85 million (in aggregate).
The three-year term commences when the platform launches in September 2021.
“Validates proposition and products”
The company believes that the contract with VMUK further validates the 9Spokes use case in an increasingly digitised financial sector.
In a market where open banking and APIs are driving innovations, the company is leveraging its significant data infrastructure to provide a differentiated model and diversified product offering to tap into the core banking function.
9Spokes co-founder and chief executive Adrian Grant said: “To be selected as a technology partner with Virgin Money - the sixth-largest bank in the UK - is testament to 9Spokes’ relevance in today’s quickly evolving market.
“It validates our proposition, our products, and notably our team, which is committed to delivering an essential service to digitally-mobilised SMBs and strengthening that intrinsic SMB-bank relationship.”
“Collaboration with key tech companies”
The 9Spokes solution forms a core part of Virgin Money’s working capital health proposition, a transformative digital banking initiative designed to help SMB customers monitor and sustain their business health.
Notably, the partner-led approach taken by VMUK to deliver its SMB wellness tracker has seen 9Spokes collaborate with key tech companies.
Grant said “Already, we have had the opportunity to collaborate closely with the Virgin Money team to bring their wellness tracker to the market.
“Along the way, we have worked and integrated with some key technology partners - including Codat and Fluidly.
“These relationships help us to further strengthen the ecosystem that we’re creating.”
“Bringing new proposition to life”
9Spokes joins several innovative fintechs who have partnered with the bank over the last six months, including Fluidly, Strands, Redspire, Waracle, Codat and Life Moments.
Virgin Money group business director Gavin Opperman said: “As we have built up to the launch of our working capital health proposition, we have focused on bringing together knowledge from various areas.
“The skills, expertise, and technology that 9Spokes brings are crucial to our mission to deliver an innovative business banking proposition.
“Collaboration with fintech’s is a large part of our overall strategy.
“The 9Spokes team’s collaborative approach and shared vision to enable SMBs to understand their business’ financial health make 9Spokes a perfect fit to help bring our new proposition to life.
“From here, we look forward to working closely with 9Spokes and to build on the platform innovations we have achieved to date.“
The working capital health proposition is funded in part through the £35 million awarded through the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Capability and Innovation Fund in 2020 - a fund that drives development of financial products and services for SMBs.
“Exciting long-term roadmap”
The initial launch will be followed by ongoing platform and marketing innovations which will be incorporated over time as part of a shared roadmap to enhance VMUK’s ambitious vision for its business customers.
Grant said “The work undertaken to date has enabled us to highlight how we’re building on our robust data infrastructure — propositions such as Monitor, which enter that core banking segment.
“But this is simply the beginning.
“We’re committed to ongoing platform and marketing innovations, and the long-term roadmap is exciting, to say the least.”
“We’re looking forward to developing the partnership and, together, our proposition over the coming years.
“Small businesses are at the heart of what we do and why we do it.
“To have a partner who is so closely aligned and shares our vision to help the SMB community thrive serves to elevate and accelerate what we’re doing in the SMB and banking spaces.”