honcho's founders Durham

Barclays fund for Northern Powerhouse fuels financial service startup in Durham

Barclays Northern Powerhouse Fund is supporting the UK’s first online reverse auction marketplace for honcho, which has received a £50k debenture facility.

Due to launch later this year, the Durham-based startup is set to disrupt the commonly used price comparison websites (PCWs) model. It is allowing car insurers to bid against each other for consumers’ business, before expanding into other personal finance products.

The £500m Northern Powerhouse Growth Fund was established to inject investment into businesses across the North of England and is intended for SMEs across the Northern Powerhouse region.

This includes: established businesses with growth plans; startups with high growth potential; companies with early-stage equity funding and businesses focusing on innovation; R&D; and technology.

honcho was founded by Gavin Sewell, CEO who lives in Northumberland, and Frank Speight, commercial director who lives in North Yorkshire.

Gavin Sewell, chief executive of honcho, said: “We’re delighted to benefit from the Barclays Northern Powerhouse Growth Fund.

“Barclays have always been very supportive of honcho and we’re thrilled that they’re now offering us additional support through their initiative to help SMEs in the North East.”

honcho is a mobile app aiming to revolutionise the way people buy products and services, saving them time and money. It is the first online reverse auction marketplace for financial services.

A reverse auction is where the consumer receives bids and becomes the focus of the auction. Companies will compete against each other to win their custom.

Michael Watson, business manager at Barclays, concluded: “We are delighted to have honcho… receiving support from the Barclays Northern Powerhouse Fund.

“As a team we were incredibly impressed with honcho’s business plan. For a company, the size of honcho we were overwhelmed with not only the exceptional progress that the Durham-based company had already made in such a short amount of time and it was for this reason that we felt, the financial disruptor fit our criteria of a startup business with high growth potential.”

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