- OakNorth is one of Facebook at Work’s first official partners in the UK, and the first challenger bank to join the platform;
- The platform will be made publically available in Q3 of this year;
- Pilot partnership is further evidence of the convergence between challenger banks and tech companies;
- Use of the social network is already leading to more collaboration internally and has directly helped with crowdsourcing ideas for the design of two new projects.
OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has become the first challenger bank to launch Facebook at Work as the platform prepares for its global launch later this year.
Facebook at Work is the professional version of the ubiquitous social network, enabling individuals to set up an account that is separate from their personal Facebook but works in almost the exact same way. Similarly to a personal account, users have a news feed which gives them updates on what other users are doing, are able to join groups, send messages and get notifications based on what’s most important and relevant to them – all with the added security measures necessary for it to be used for internal purposes.
OakNorth, which provides loans of between £1m-£15m to entrepreneurs and fast-growth businesses, launched the network internally this week and according toco-founder and CEO, Rishi Khosla, it is already leading to more collaboration: “In using Facebook at Work, we’ve been able to crowdsource ideas from people within the business who otherwise wouldn’t have been involved in the discussion. The platform has enabled us to combine the viewpoints of employees from all areas of the business which has already directly helped with the design of two new projects.
“Our partnership with Facebook at Work is yet another example of how OakNorth is building its business with the flexible/collaborative technology – outdoing the approach of many fintech businesses.”
OakNorth has grown rapidly since its launch in September and now has a team of approximately 80 employees. It hopes the network will enable it to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in the number of internal emails by the end of the year, as well as accelerating decision making processes by drawing everyone into virtual rooms on the platform.