Monday 14th November 2016
Sonovate Partners With Brand Union to Innovate Finance Within the Recruitment Market
Sonovate, the recruitment finance and back office provider, has appointed WPP’s global brand strategy and design agency, Brand Union, to build a fintech brand for the future.
The fast-growth fintech company, founded in 2012, has emerged as a significant challenger to traditional banks, providing a revolutionary tech platform to solve a major admin and cash flow challenge faced by recruitment companies when placing contractors.
Following a series of successful multi-million pound funding rounds, Sonovate is looking to drive further penetration in the market, bringing Brand Union on board as a strategic partner to develop a brand architecture and build a future-proofed brand, helping it meet its significant growth targets.
Brand Union has the belief that organisations should engage emotionally with their audience and they do this through brand experience. Brand Union will be developing the brand strategy and identity that will enable Sonovate to deliver its ambitious growth strategy.
|Richard Prime, Co-CEO at Sonovate, commented:
“The recruitment market deserves better and we’re delivering that. As we build market share and venture into new territory, we required a visionary partner that understands our needs and shares our challenge outlook. Brand Union’s track record makes them the perfect partner to define Sonovate and build the brand architecture to future proof our product roadmap.”
|James Breeds, Client Director at Brand Union added:
“Sonovate is a future-thinking fintech brand that is completely disrupting the status quo and offering a competitive advantage and enhanced performance to businesses in the recruitment sector. We’re proud to be partnering with Sonovate to help them build a brand that epitomises their innovation and will in turn help them drive further market share. The company is entering fresh ground and we’re excited to play a vital role in helping it achieve its growth ambitions.”
Wednesday 12th October 2016
UK’s leading recruitment finance provider secures Series B funding from Rocket Internet’s investment vehicle
London – Sonovate, the UK’s leading recruitment finance provider, has raised a £14 million Series B funding round led by Global Founders Capital, the investment vehicle of Rocket Internet, and supported by Dawn Capital.
Comprising £9 million in equity and £5 million in debt funding, this round of investment follows the £20 million funding round announced in February this year in a Series A funding round led by Dawn Capital with debt funding provided by Shawbrook Business Credit.
Richard Prime and Damon Chapple, former directors of a FTSE 250 recruitment agency, launched Sonovate in 2014 as an alternative to the traditional invoice finance on offer to recruitment agencies. The high-tech platform solves the recurring admin and cash flow challenges traditionally associated with running contractors.
Global Founders Capital specialises in seed, series A and later stage ventures and invests in young technology companies from around the world. Other recent investments include ‘prop tech’ start-up Nested, and online deals specialist TravelBird.
Sonovate co-CEO and co-founder Richard Prime commented: “We launched Sonovate as a disruptive start-up to challenge the status quo in recruitment. In just two years we have completely overtaken the banks, transformed the industry and changed how recruitment agencies operate and we are delighted that this has been recognised by Global Founders Capital.”
Sonovate, which has increased its headcount from 25 to 100 within the space of a year, has grown rapidly from a start-up to the recognised leader in contract recruitment finance, signing up more recruitment agencies in the last two years than every UK bank combined, and is currently growing at a rate of 20% a month. The year ahead will see Sonovate provide £245m of funding through the platform.
Prime added: “The people behind Global Founders Capital are hugely successful entrepreneurs in their own right. They have extensive experience investing in other high growth fintech businesses, and are a perfect match for Sonovate. We’re thrilled to have them on board.”
This round of capital investment will help fuel Sonovate’s already impressive growth as it continues to innovate, grow the team and plan for international expansion – with the aim of launching in Europe and North America over the next year. Sonovate will also be investing in developing new products focused on winning more established recruitment agencies and other businesses using contingent staff.
Daniel Jones, Partner at Global Founders Capital, commented: “Sonovate’s product is a highly innovative solution that has made a huge impact on the recruitment sector in the UK. They have already demonstrated rapid growth and dominance within their market and we believe they have the potential to go even bigger. We’re excited to lead the Series B investment in Sonovate and support the team as they take the business to the next level.”
Josh Bell, Partner at Dawn Capital and Sonovate board member, observed: “This new funding round is a great achievement and will enable the business to accelerate its impressive pace of growth both in the UK and internationally. As initial investors in the business we will continue to be hugely supportive to the management team in order to help them achieve their growth plans.”
Thursday 6th October 2016
London – 29th August 2014 – Richard Prime has been nominated for the accredited “Great Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2014”.
The CEO and Co-founder of Sonovate has been recognised for the innovation he’s delivered to recruitment agencies, that now have a genuinely improved way of financing and running contractors.
Since its inception two years ago, Sonovate has taken on the banks to become the number one provider of contract finance to the recruitment industry and a leading tech finance disruptor.
“With over 25 years experience in the field as recruiters and directors, myself and Damon Chapple encountered all the barriers involved with financing and running contractors first hand. We imagined the ideal way we would fund and run our own contractors and then set about making it a reality.”
The shortlist will be announced on September 11th with the official winner being declared at the awards ceremony on November 11th.
Thursday 28th July 2016
UK recruitment sector growth up 10% on 2015
28 July 2016, London – 2,926 new recruitment agencies launched in the first half of 2016: a 10% increase on the number of agencies launched in the same period in 2015, according to research from leading recruitment finance provider, Sonovate.
The data, taken from Companies House, suggests that despite recent economic uncertainty, the recruitment industry is in good health. During the first and second quarter of 2016, the number of new recruitment agencies increased by 10% and 7% respectively compared to the same periods last year. In 2015, a total of 5,110 new recruitment agencies launched in the UK: a 144 % increase on the 2,092 agencies launched in 2010.
Richard Prime, Sonovate co-founder and co-CEO comments, “The UK recruitment sector is thriving, and the industry’s rapid growth is showing no sign of slowing. This is good news for the economy, especially during the current climate of uncertainty following the Brexit vote.”
A number of factors are responsible for the sector’s success. Last year saw the UK employment rate rise to the highest level since 1971, according to the Office of National Statistics, and APSCo data shows that vacancies in core sectors are growing year on year.
Prime continues: “Record employment levels present challenges for employers to retain staff as confidence amongst job seekers grows. As wage growth continues upwards, and the war for talent intensifies, skilled recruitment professionals are able to use their industry experience and networks to source the best talent.”
An increase in contract recruitment, which is often the result of businesses having to take on extra staff to fulfil demand for expanding workloads, is also responsible for the sector’s growth.
In 2015, 90% of the industry’s £31.5bn turnover came from temporary or contract business. However, agencies looking to launch a contract division face significant obstacles, the biggest one being cash flow. Both new and established recruitment companies are being held back by inflexible and outdated finance products.
Using traditional invoice finance, it can take companies up to 5 years to access the finance required to fund contractors, whilst with an alternative finance provider it can take 3 to 4 years. With Sonovate, flexible finance, industry leading contractor management technology and expert support means companies can start running contractors from day one.
“At Sonovate, we are committed to supporting the recruitment sector’s continued growth and helping even more recruitment companies access the funding they need to prosper,” concludes Prime.
Friday 1st July 2016
Richard Mansell joins the UK’s fastest growing recruitment finance provider after three years at Barclaycard
1st July 2016, London – Sonovate, the UK’s leading provider of contract finance to recruitment companies, has appointed Richard Mansell as its new chief operations officer to oversee the company’s ambitious growth plans.
Mansell has extensive experience in operations: for the last three years he has worked as operations director at Barclaycard, where he ran three business units and was responsible for driving business transformation and change across the customer journey. He has an MBA from Cardiff Business School and also sits on its advisory board.
In his new role at Sonovate, Mansell will be responsible for the day-to-day running of operations across the company, ensuring the team works cohesively and collectively as the business expands.
Speaking of his move, Mansell comments: “There’s a really dynamic culture at Sonovate and I’m excited to be joining such an innovative company and one that is growing so rapidly.
“There’s a real creative edge to Sonovate and the way it approaches financing in the recruitment space. Its potential is huge and I’m looking forward to working at the company as it continues to expand both within the UK and internationally.”
Founded in 2012 by former recruiters Richard Prime and Damon Chapple, Sonovate provides finance and the associated back office contractor management technology to recruitment agencies placing contractors. It directly addresses the cashflow challenges and administrative headaches these agencies face – something the traditional lenders have consistently failed to do
Damon Chapple, co-founder and co-CEO of Sonovate, comments, “We’re delighted to welcome Richard to the team. His proven success and wealth of experience will be invaluable as we move forward.”
Since its inception, Sonovate has quickly overtaken the banks to become the number one provider of contract finance to the recruitment industry and continues to grow at a fast pace. Its headcount has increased from 23 to 65 in under a year and company turnover now stands at £65 million.
Thursday 12th May 2016
12 May 2016, London – Demand for contract and permanent hires is increasing rapidly among UK fintech companies, according to new research from recruitment finance provider, Sonovate.
Job advertisements for contract roles increased by 64 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and individual roles have become highly sought after. Roles are being advertised at an average day rate of £430.
The highest volume of postings were for IT positions, which saw a 35 percent QoQ rise and were advertised with an average day rate of £460. Consultancy positions recorded 525 percent QoQ growth, with an average day rate of £475.
Richard Prime, co-CEO of Sonovate, says: “2015 was a crucial year for UK fintech: while it’s been a cornerstone of our financial and technology markets for a while, we’ve seen clear increases in the industry’s overall investment, growth, and economic contribution.”
He adds: “These increases have translated to a surge in advertisements for contract roles. The market for this kind of interim, project-based work is in rude health, and the prospects of those seeking more long-term employment have also improved.”
The research also indicates a 732 percent YoY rise in listings for permanent roles, a 57 percent QoQ rise, at an average salary of £58,000. As with contract positions, IT and consultancy are the top two positions advertised in terms of overall postings, and have seen growth of 61 percent and 157 percent respectively.
“More jobs, more money, and more growth”, Prime comments. “The fintech employment market is experiencing a global boom at the moment – and the UK is at the forefront.”
For full access to the results, which were compiled in conjunction with Innovantage, and for more information on the wider European fintech market, please visit: sonovate.com/market-insights
Tuesday 10th May 2016
10 May 2016 – London – Demand for contract and interim senior level positions in London is at a record high, according to new research from Sonovate, the leading recruitment finance provider.
The data, taken from vacancies advertised on 180 job boards and half a million employer websites, indicate that postings for these roles increased at a rate of 23 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). Director-level vacancies saw 39 percent QoQ growth – with over 1,100 advertised roles in Q1 2016.
Richard Prime, co-CEO of Sonovate, comments: “Nobody needs to be told that London is a hotbed of British business, but the increase in advertisements for senior roles indicates that there’s a huge appetite for quality leadership in the capital.”
He adds: “Of course, because these advertisements are for contract positions, the research also suggests that quality leadership isn’t necessarily about the long-term anymore. More and more companies are onboarding senior staff to shepherd projects towards completion – or just to have a steady hand on the tiller in the midst of a storm.”
London’s top three highest-paid contractor roles in Q1 2016 were Head of Programme Management (£850 per day), Strategy Director (£750 per day), and Senior Change Manager (£737 per day). At the lower end of the scale, Programme Director positions were advertised at a rate of £616.
Prime comments further: “That these roles are being advertised in high volume is interesting; that they’re being advertised at such competitive rates suggests that London enterprise is in fine shape. Companies want great contractors and great leaders – and they’re willing to pay very good money for them.”
London’s level of growth in this area is predicted to continue – and perhaps at an ever faster pace. The future looks bright for senior appointments contractors: combined management and director level vacancies are expected to increase 16 percent by July 2016 to 6,300 roles.
For full access to the results, which were compiled in conjunction with Innovantage, please visit: http://www.sonovate.com/charts/senior-appointments-london-q1-2016/
– Ends –
Thursday 17th March 2016
17 March 2016 – London – IT security professionals are the most sought-after contractors within the UK’s growing jobs market according to new research from Sonovate, the award-winning recruitment finance provider.
Overall growth for contract security roles has reached a year-on-year high of 19 percent, and this level of demand is set to grow by 30 percent over the course of 2016.
The data, based on the number of active roles advertised either directly or via recruitment agencies, highlights that the demand for IT security professionals is closely followed by roles in UX, recording a 17 percent year-on-year growth and Architecture (five percent).
Within IT security, the highest month-on-month demand is for consultants (52 percent), with network security engineers (26 percent) and analysts (24 percent) a close second and third respectively.
Richard Prime, co-CEO and co-founder of Sonovate, comments: “IT security has always been important for companies looking to protect their business interests – something which has only been reinforced by the recent spate of high-profile data breaches and cyber-attacks. In addition, changing attitudes to work have resulted in a burgeoning contractor market.”
Richard Prime and Damon Chapple, former directors of a FTSE 250 recruitment agency, founded Sonovate to provide high-tech working capital solutions to UK recruitment companies. Unparalleled in the sector, Sonovate eliminates both the cashflow and administrative burden faced by all recruitment companies working with contractors.
Prime adds: “There’s a real appetite for high-quality contractors at the moment. This research says one thing loud and clear: it’s a great time to be an IT security recruiter, especially one with an eye for opportunity.”
For full access to the results, compiled in conjunction with Innovantage, please visit: http://www.sonovate.com/contract-market-watch-it-security
– Ends –
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
02 February 2016, London – Sonovate, the UK’s leading recruitment contract finance provider, has raised a £5 million Series A funding round led by Dawn Capital and supported by DN Capital, with a further £15 million in debt funding provided by Shawbrook Business Credit.
Richard Prime and Damon Chapple, former directors of a FTSE 250 recruitment agency, launched Sonovate to provide high-tech working capital solutions to UK recruitment companies. Unparalleled in the sector, Sonovate’s platform eliminates both the cashflow and administrative burden faced by recruitment companies working with contractors.
Sonovate co-CEO and co-founder Richard Prime comments: “Recruitment companies have always been early adopters of technology: they were quick to see the potential of platforms like LinkedIn, and firms like Reed have been active online for almost 20 years now.
“But as eager as the industry is to reinvent itself for the modern era, finance and the associated technology is yet to catch up. Agencies providing contract solutions have relied on outdated, inflexible bank products which don’t provide the automation and technology that agencies are crying out for.
“We launched Sonovate to overcome this challenge. This capital investment will help us develop our product, expand our team, and launch into new territories including mainland Europe and North America over the next year.”
Sonovate was founded in London in January 2014 and also has an office in Cardiff, Wales. The business currently employs 45 people.
Josh Bell, partner at Dawn Capital who will also join the Sonovate board, comments: “Recruitment agencies in the UK and across the globe face many unnecessary obstacles when it comes to securing working capital – and Sonovate is the global leader for companies using technology to make working capital available in a seamless, automated way.”
“Finance for recruitment agencies is a large, fast-growing market: the global recruitment sector is worth $350 billion annually, expected to expand by a further 7% in 2016. The UK alone is set to grow 6%. The rise in flexible and contract work – there are 11 million contractors in the US alone – has increased appetite for a solution like that offered by Sonovate.“
Josh Bell adds: “There’s more opportunity in recruitment and the wider contingent staffing sector than ever before, and Sonovate is well-placed to seize it. The company has a great product, a reputation for excellent customer service, and is in a strong position to make an impact internationally.
Thursday 15th October 2015
15 October 2015, London – Harrington Starr, the leader in innovative finance and technology recruitment, has chosen Sonovate’s contract finance solution to support its growing contract recruitment book.
Harrington Starr launched in 2010, predominantly placing candidates in permanent roles, but since 2013 its contract book has grown rapidly. To match this increase in its contract business, Harrington Starr needed a more technological and flexible finance solution to ensure a high quality experience for its users.
Toby Babb, founder and managing director of Harrington Starr, comments: “We needed a slick and efficient service that made working with our clients and candidates easier for our consultants and administrative teams. We also needed access to accurate data grounded in a strong, innovative tech platform that was handled by a professional and knowledgeable team who we would be happy to contact our customers. As soon as we spoke to Richard and the team at Sonovate, we immediately recognised these qualities and more.
“It really shows in the product that the Sonovate team has worked in the recruitment industry before because they understand all the pain points that come with placing contractors and have built a solution that overcomes all of them.”
Babb concludes: “At Harrington Starr, we have always chosen to work with the very best suppliers and cutting-edge technology to maintain our competitive advantage. Sonovate really delivers in this respect.”
Sonovate is a finance solution specially tailored to the needs of the recruitment industry. It brings flexible finance together with the associated back office technology that takes care of all the admin involved in running contractors, from invoicing and timesheet management to credit checking and chasing payments. Since its launch in January 2014, Sonovate has overtaken the banks in terms of new deals recorded to become the number one provider of finance to the UK recruitment industry.
Richard Prime, founder and CEO of Sonovate, comments: “We built Sonovate to make placing and managing contractors easy and profitable. We’re thrilled to welcome Harrington Starr on board and look forward to helping Toby and the team place more contractors and ultimately grow the business.”
Thursday 13th August 2015
13 August 2015, London – The number of new recruitment agencies launched in the first six months of 2015 totals 1,034, according to research from the UK’s leading contract finance provider, Sonovate.
The data taken from Companies House also reveals that in the same period of 2014 (January-June), 724 new agencies were launched.
Commenting on the data, Sonovate co-founder and CEO Richard Prime says: “The recruitment industry is in robust health and I’m excited to see so many new agencies launching all the time. We’re facing an increasing number of skills shortages across various sectors including science, engineering and manufacturing technologies and recruiters must be on hand to overcome these challenges.”
According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the recruitment market is worth £28.7 billion, with temporary and contract recruitment making up 91 percent of this (£26 billion).
Prime continues: “It’s important that small and start-up agencies are able to access the level of finance required to fund contractors from day one. But it’s not always easy for the smaller agencies to access this kind of finance from the banks; they overcomplicate the lending process and impose heavy restrictions on agencies which can really hinder growth.”
Sonovate, launched in January 2014, is a new finance solution tailored to the needs of the recruitment industry. It combines flexible finance with the associated back office technology that takes care of all the admin involved in running contractors, including managing timesheets, invoicing, credit checking and chasing payments. Since launching, Sonovate has overtaken the banks in terms of new deals recorded to become the number one provider of finance to the UK recruitment industry.
Prime concludes: “I’m excited to help even more recruitment agencies realise their potential by providing access to the flexible finance they have been crying out for. I look forward to seeing many more agencies launch in the second half of the year.”
Wednesday 24th June 2015
24 June 2015, London – The average age of recruitment companies using bank finance to fund growth is nine years, five months and 19 days, according to research from leading contract finance provider Sonovate.
The data, taken from Companies House, also reveals that the average age of recruitment companies signing up to bank finance for the first time (with HSBC, Lloyds, RBS or Barclays) is four years and four months.
Richard Prime, CEO and co-founder of Sonovate comments: “Agencies placing contractors rely on invoice finance to fund them. What these findings show is that, unless you’re a well-established agency that’s been around for some years, you’re unlikely to secure the finance required to grow. Why? Because banks offer products grounded in outdated approaches to lending that can be very restrictive.
“They tend to place limits on the amount of business a recruitment agency can conduct with a single client, for example. This really strangles the growth of small agencies, many of which have built their businesses on agreements to provide temp workers to one or two major organisations. Banks also insist on all turnover agreements which result in lengthy and expensive contracts. Their systems are just not tailored to recruitment – and especially to agencies in the first few years of inception.” Prime continues.
Sonovate is a new offering tailored to the needs of recruitment agencies by providing a flexible finance solution, combined with the technology that takes care of all the admin associated with running contractors.
Since launching in January 2014, Sonovate has overtaken the banks in terms of news deals recorded on a monthly basis to become the number one provider of contract finance to the recruitment industry. Unlike the banks, the average age of Sonovate customers, which are growing by 20 percent a month, is seven months.
Prime, who has 20 years’ experience working in recruitment, continues: “With a record number of new agencies launching year on year, it’s crucial that they can gain access to the finance they need to grow. At Sonovate, we make it our mission to enable more agencies than ever before to access the finance and administrative support they need to fund contractors, ensure growth and become more profitable as a result.”
Wednesday 29th April 2015
29 April 2015, London – John Martin, current Group Chief Financial Officer of Wolseley plc, has joined Sonovate’s board as an investor, bringing years of finance and recruitment experience to a company he sees as the alternative finance provider of choice to the recruitment industry.
Martin, who is also former CFO of recruitment specialist Hays plc, and ex CFO of Travelex Group, brings with him over 20 years of experience in senior financial positions, combined with a background as a chartered accountant.
Sonovate, a leading UK fintech start-up, provides finance for recruitment agencies placing contractors, as well as the technology that takes care of all the admin associated with running contractors such as timesheets, invoicing and chasing late payments.
In his new role, Martin will draw on his experience of working in finance for both recruitment and forex companies to help Sonovate strengthen its position as the UK’s number one provider of contract finance to recruitment agencies. Martin’s appointment comes shortly after the placement of Paul Saunders, former board director of Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, to the Sonovate board in November 2014.
Discussing his new role, Martin comments: “Sonovate is an enormously exciting business and I’m delighted to join during a period of such impressive growth. It’s challenging an industry that’s saturated by old fashioned finance products offered by banks, and one that hasn’t developed in decades. Sonovate is providing finance that is tailored specifically to the recruitment industry – something banks and other financial institutions just can’t do.”
Richard Prime, CEO of Sonovate, comments: “We are thrilled to welcome John to the Sonovate board. John’s unrivalled knowledge of the innermost workings of finance at globally-recognised corporations will help push Sonovate to the next level as we look to help more recruitment agencies than ever, from small to enterprise size, secure the right finance to help them grow.”
Martin concludes: “There’s no doubt that Sonovate is the future of contract finance; no longer do agencies have to rely on banks to secure the necessary finance to overcome the cashflow headache presented by contract recruitment, or waste time on all the administrative tasks associated with running contractors – that’s Sonovate’s job!”
Since launching its contract finance offering in January 2014, Sonovate has already overtaken the banks in terms of new deals recorded to become the number one provider of contract finance to UK recruitment agencies.
Thursday 20th November 2014
20 November 2014, London – Paul Saunders, former board director of Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, has joined the Sonovate board, hailing its innovative solution for contract recruitment a ‘game changer’ within the industry.
Founded by former recruiters Richard Prime and Damon Chapple, Sonovate provides finance for recruitment agencies placing contractors, alongside the technology that takes care of all the admin associated with running contractors including invoicing, timesheets and chasing late payments.
Saunders brings with him over 20 years of experience from Lloyds’s Commercial Finance division, which has historically been the largest provider of contract finance to the recruitment industry. At Lloyds, he was instrumental in establishing its specialism in the recruitment sector which ultimately provided funding solutions to over 1,000 companies with a turnover of £2 billion.
In his new role as Senior Board Adviser, Saunders will draw on his extensive background in recruitment finance to assist Sonovate’s expansion of its revolutionary contract finance technology.
Speaking of his move, Saunders says: “I am enormously excited to join the board of such a trailblazing company as Sonovate. It is uniquely placed in the centre of the dynamic London fintech scene with a brilliant product that recruitment companies have been crying out for.
“Sonovate directly addresses the cashflow and administrative challenges faced by agencies that have previously restricted their ability to grow. Because Sonovate was built by recruiters for recruiters, the solution is tailored to the specific requirements of the recruitment sector – something banks and other traditional finance houses cannot claim, or even understand.”
Richard Prime, CEO of Sonovate, comments: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome such an experienced financial expert to our board. Paul’s decades of knowledge from the commercial recruitment finance sector will enable us to take our contract finance solutions to the next level, providing recruitment companies with the funding they need to grow.
“Banks simply can’t provide the flexibility that recruitment companies placing contractors need, and Paul’s understanding from the inside of one of the world’s largest commercial banks will help us develop a product they can’t compete with.”
Saunders concludes: “With its market leading technology, combined with its flexible finance offering, I truly believe Sonovate will play a pivotal role in the future of contract recruitment.”