Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, one of Britain’s most prominent businesswomen, is in advanced talks to sell her money-saving app to Vanquis Banking Group, the consumer lender.
Sky News has learnt that Dame Jayne-Anne is nearing a deal with Vanquis – formerly known as Provident Financial – with an announcement possible in the coming weeks.
The former Virgin Money chief executive launched Snoop in 2019 with the objective of using open banking reforms to assist consumers’ efforts to save on household bills.
That objective has become more urgent during the cost of living crisis, and the Snoop app is understood to have been downloaded more than 1.5m times.
The fintech’s financial performance, however, has been unclear.
Dame Jayne-Anne has raised several rounds of funding for Snoop, with high-profile investors including Paulson & Co, which at one stage ranked among Wall Street’s most successful hedge funds, and individuals including Sir Lloyd Dorfman, the Travelex billionaire.
The valuation that Vanquis was in talks to pay for Snoop was uncertain on Friday, although one investor cast doubt on the idea that it would be close to the £47m at which the business had been valued in an earlier round of funding.
Snoop has been working with bankers at Rothschild on plans to raise new capital or sell the company outright for several months.
The app uses so-called ‘open banking’ technology to track users’ spending and promote ways for them to save money, and generated over £1m in revenue last year, according to insiders.
Vanquis is a logical buyer of the business given its focus on sub-prime lending and customer demographic.
It closed its loss-making high-cost consumer credit division, which included the doorstep lending arm for which the Provi was best-known, in two years ago after the company ran into financial trouble.
On Friday, shares in Vanquis were trading at around 189.08p, giving the company a market value of £482m.
Snoop received takeover interest three years ago, when it received an approach from MoneySuperMarket, although the talks failed to progress.
Dame Jayne-Anne’s venture argues that it can save the average British household £1,500-a-year in a period when energy bills and other living costs have been rising sharply.
The former Virgin Money CEO, who also serves as the chair of HM Revenue & Customs, has said there is a £12bn total saving for consumers penalised for their loyalty and apathy.
She also recently became chair of Moneyfarm, another UK-based fintech specialising in wealth management.
Vanquis and Snoop both declined to comment.