Free Spirited Aussie Angel Investor Pioneers Fintech Innovation
An Aussie-born angel investor has swapped the surf for fintech innovation to launch Vitesse, a FCA and European (DNB) regulated provider of seamless international payments and innovative treasury management solutions for insurance.
Phillip McGriskin, 47, has over 20 years of experience in fintech investments. He has built an extensive portfolio of investments across the fintech world. His ability to spot potential in businesses from as early as ideation has allowed him to be an angel investor for; TransferWise, SuperAwesome, YOTI, and Griffin.io to name a few.
His later fintech venture, Vitesse, a payments platform that enables its insurance clientele to make reimbursements in a matter of minutes instead of weeks, launched in 2013 and currently boasts customers, including Brit Insurance, Mayfair Group, and CEGA Group. It has secured a £6.6 million Series A investment from Octopus Ventures and will be seeking Series B funding in 2022.
A former surfer may be the last person you’d expect to flourish in this field but Phillip puts his success down to his laidback and friendly approach towards the people he works with. He fondly mentions the entrepreneurs that he has invested in as being inspirational leaders in their respective fields and him having confidence in what was to come.
Fundamentally he really focuses on what he finds interesting. With such a diverse background in where he’s worked and his experience across a variety of business lines and roles, that has given him a broader range of interests and opened him up to more new concepts and ventures.
His career began at the young age of 20 working as an insurance broker in Australia. Over his two decades in the industry, he worked across commercial departments in London for companies such as; EarthPort, PaySafe, and Envoy Services (that he founded and sold to WorldPay, where he worked as Chief Product and Marketing Officer before co-founding Vitesse).
His passion for fintech stems from the endless possibilities in this sector coupled with the extensive innovation that has been seen over the last years.
McGriskin says; “The fintech industry is only moving forward and the possibilities are growing. “There is a lot more growth to come from online payments. Cash payments have become a tiny percentage of payments made in the UK compared to how popular it was five years ago. Digitalisation is the one thing that will continue to grow and will speed up in the very near future.”
He sees financial technology as an enabler, encouraging companies and people to rethink outdated approaches. As he states “It is giving people the ability to solve legacy issues which have been around for a long time. For example, people can now have a claim approved and receive money back onto their debit card within a matter of minutes. It is effortless and that’s just one-way fintech is transforming insurance.”
Phillip is currently the CEO of Vitesse: “After building a successful financial services business with Paul Townsend [Executive Chairman of Vitesse] which relied on creating international payment relationships for businesses to receive money; we realised that there were still multiple gaps on the other side of the transaction. The outward bound payment. There were some very specific use cases in the areas of insurance, payroll, and corporate payments where service gaps were preventing these businesses from growing to their full potential.”
This thinking created Vitesse, listed in the Deloitte 50 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies. Vitesse is a dual-regulated provider of near real-time international payments and treasury management solutions for its extensive insurance clientele, supporting in-country payments to over 170 countries in 109 currencies around the world.
Coupled with a regulated, industry-audited solution that gives total control and transparency over funds, Vitesse is changing the game with claims payments and associated claims funds management by providing an efficient capital management solution. They also enable businesses to pay claims via a range of payment types globally such as bank transfer, Visa Direct, and USD eChecks.
“Vitesse brings the strength of the global banking network together with leading technology. We give our customers unparalleled control, transparency, and efficiency for the holding and management of funds and liquidity.”
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