An international start-up firm that utilises artificial intelligence technology to support its customers in their journey to financial freedom has announced plans to locate its headquarters in Glasgow.
The move will further bolster the fact Glasgow ranks no. 1 among the 10 UK core cities for producing the highest number of financial and business graduates and digital tech students and graduates. Approximately 45 new software developer and technical support jobs will be created after BlackArrow Financial Solutions confirmed that Scotland would become the centre of its global operations.
The company, which also has a presence in Sydney and Dublin, made its headquarter decision following support from Scottish Enterprise, including a £573,000 grant award from Scotland’s national economic development agency.
BlackArrow will further develop its innovative financial planning app at its existing office in Glasgow, which opened in 2019. Consultancy services will also be offered to banks and building societies that need to assess compliance with changing regulations.
Scottish Government Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “Scotland will become the centre of BlackArrow Financial Solutions’ global operations and this represents a massive vote of confidence in our recovery from the pandemic.
“Artificial intelligence technology promises significant opportunities for Scottish businesses and their customers and BlackArrow is creating exactly the kind of high-value and innovative jobs we need here.
“Scottish Enterprise has a lengthy relationship with the company and this agreement is another tangible step towards post-COVID-19 prosperity.”
Founded by Gopal Hariharan in Sydney in 2014, BlackArrow places ‘financial freedom’ at the ethos of its work. Using its innovative technology, the company provides valuable insights to guide its customers to improve their affordability scenarios.
The BlackArrow app learns about a user’s financial behaviour through linked bank accounts and sends notifications to help them with financial goals, such as saving for a mortgage. BlackArrow intend to keep innovating new ways to adding value to every step of their customers’ financial lifecycle.
Mr Hariharan said: “We know the complexities of planning a financial journey, which is why our platform will give customers the best framework to be the master of their own financial journey.
“Later this year we will showcase how we empower customers to take that first step of the home ownership journey; one of the most significant of all financial goals. We are working closely with leading partners to bring customers closer to their dream of owning their home.”
The decision by BlackArrow to relocate its headquarters to Scotland is the culmination of a longstanding relationship between Scottish Enterprise and the company. SDI first engaged with Mr Hariharan in 2017 as part of a trade mission to Sydney and highlighted what support could be offered to his company and how Scotland was the ideal global home for BlackArrow.
BlackArrow’s announcement follows the publication of EY Scotland’s Attractiveness Survey 2021 yesterday, which confirmed that Scotland was yet again the most attractive location for inward investment in the UK, outside of London.
Mark Hallan, Director of Global Investment, SDI at Scottish Enterprise, said: “BlackArrow is an exciting company that has innovation at its heart, so its decision to choose Glasgow for its next stage of international growth is fantastic news for Scotland and our fintech ecosystem.
“Working with our public sector partners, Scottish Enterprise has been able to demonstrate why Scotland is an ideal home for BlackArrow, primarily due to the quality of our workforce, access to our country’s world-class universities and the collaborative business environment on offer here.
“Scottish Enterprise is laser-focused on supporting Scotland’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and attracting investment from global companies will play a critical role in our efforts. We are very much open for business and our talented colleagues across the world will continue to highlight why Scotland remains such an extraordinary proposition to invest in, particularly in priority sectors such as fintech.”
With more than 160 fintechs now operating in Scotland, the country is becoming a global leader in fintech innovation and development.
Digital financial services was also identified as one of the nine areas of opportunity in Shaping Scotland’s Economy: Scotland’s Inward Investment Plan, the Scottish Government’s blueprint to attracting further overseas investment to Scotland’s shores.
Nicola Anderson, CEO of FinTech Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to welcome BlackArrow to Scotland, working in collaboration with SDl to integrate the Australian business into the FinTech Scotland community and cluster.
“Scotland’s FinTech cluster continues to embrace the opportunity to work with international businesses, both in terms of supporting their development and equally learning from their global experiences. This collaboration helps grow and strengthen Scotland’s fintech opportunity.
“We’re looking forward to supporting Gopal and his team further, and for many more years.”