Fintech for good startup Lightning Reach wins two prestigious awards for their innovative digital platform accelerating support to people in financial hardship.
Lightning Reach has been named a winner for two prestigious awards - the 2021 CogX Awards (Global Goals Impact: Start-up) and Impact Shakers Awards (Income & Work category). The impact startup founded amidst the pandemic has built a digital platform which helps people in financial hardship to receive super fast support.
The Impact Shakers Awards are a celebration of startups impacting the world for good. The 'Income & Work' category identified solutions that promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth. The CogX Awards annually seek to identify those companies who have made a significant breakthrough or contribution to helping the world address the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the UK economy, resulting in over 12 million people struggling to make ends meet - yet typically having to wait over 5 weeks to receive support. This has placed a huge strain on organisations supporting those in financial hardship (e.g. charities and local authorities), which struggle to verify and support those in need at the speed and scale required with manual processes and paperwork. The award-winning Lightning platform leverages open banking, a quick and secure digital way to share financial information, to help organisations accurately verify the financial need of individuals applying for support and in turn, deliver outcomes days instead of weeks. Launched in beta in Feb 2021 with national poverty charity Turn2us, the Lightning platform has already helped to process >200 applications and facilitate over £50k in payouts to people in dire need of support. Commenting on the announcement, Lightning Reaches' Founder and CEO Ren Yi Hooi said “Having launched the Lightning platform just a few months ago, we are thrilled and honoured to already be recognised as a winner of both awards. We would like to thank our amazing partners, backers and friends, as well as the CogX and Impact Shakers teams and judges, for their support. We’re just getting started on the journey of accelerating the delivery of support to those who need it most during these challenging times”. Turn2us Director of Impact and Innovation Jo Kerr said “Lightning is helping to transform our grant delivery journey by leveraging technology to reduce paperwork, increase security and accelerate decisions. We’re excited that real users have been able to benefit from the platform and can submit their financial details digitally in as little as a minute.” Ultimately, the Lightning Reach platform makes a difference to the people who require rapid access to emergency funding in order to avoid falling into a spiral of debt - people such as Tomris, a Turn2us beneficiary who said “[Lightning] is so much better, you just have to scan a QR code and they can then just get access to three months' worth of statements and it just speeds it up completely...It’s really really good, it’s really good. So quick. It should always be like that. I think everyone should use it now actually.” Alongside winning the CogX and Impact Shakers Awards, Lightning Reach was recently selected for the finals of Nesta’s Rapid Recovery Challenge in partnership with Turn2us. They are also funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency, and leading global accelerator program Techstars. The Lightning team aims to expand with a larger number of partner organisations in order to make a difference to even more people in financial hardship.