The co-founder of Barclays' first technology spin-out Nivo has revealed the company is looking to raise £2 million to scale.

Nivo is a secure instant messaging platform designed to prevent people from ever having to phone service providers such as banks, lenders, insurance firms, utilities, telecoms and healthcare providers.

According to co-founder Matthew Elliott, the former head of Barclays Rise in Manchester, a user could apply for an unsecured bank loan in a matter of minutes simply by sending a few messages and uploading a picture of their identification.

"80 per cent of customers who apply for a financial services product, end up dropping out," he said.

"Typically they’ll complete a form online and then they'll get hit by emails and phone calls asking for bank statements or a payslip, then they’ll have to go into a branch with a passport.

"And just to make sure they’ve been hit on every channel they’ll receive the loan agreement in post for a wet signature in return – it takes about three weeks for an unsecured loan and 80 per cent drop out.

"With Nivo, you could complete that journey all over mobile, as comfortable and familiar as sending a message to your friends, within five minutes."

The app differentiates itself from other messaging solutions by boasting ‘bank-standard’ authentication, identity verification and encryption features – all intended to transform the customer experience while ensuring complete security.

"WhatsApp has exploded over the last three or four years and completely transformed how we communicate and become, by far, most people’s preferred way to communicate," Elliott said.

"The problem is none of the solutions on the market carry the requisite security controls to make them suitable for regulated industries."

Nivo’s platform was officially launched in May and has already secured contracts with ten clients.

Elliott says he now wants to scale the business and raise the cash to build the necessary sales, marketing and product development firepower.

"We’ve got clients across financial services, professional services and healthcare - anywhere where it's important to know the identity of the person you’re talking to," he said.

"Our current target is to raise £2 million and get to 100 active brands in 2019."

Elliott, who is speaking at our The Future of FinTech event in Manchester on 19 July, established Nivo alongside CEO Mike Common, CTO Tim Tennant and lead developer Justin Crow.

The former Barclays employees developed the platform through the course of the Barclays Techstars accelerator.

Since launching as a spin-out at the end of 2017, the start-up has already secured investment of £400,000 and been recognised as one of Tech North's Northern Stars.

"We see massive opportunity in Nivo; the customer service industry is worth billions per year in the UK alone and is still dominated by the phone. It's also the kind of platform that could easily expand in to Europe and further afield," Elliott said.

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