Lightning Reach team photo

Lightning Reach is a financial support portal which makes it easy for people to find and apply for a wide range of personalised support (including grants, benefits, help with bills and other resources) in one place. The platform can be used by organisations to streamline or enhance the support they offer to vulnerable customers, using innovative technology like open banking and ID verification, or by individuals seeking to improve their financial wellbeing. Lightning Reach has registered >100,000 users and enabled >£10m in funding to individuals. Partners include The Royal British Legion, Lambeth Council, British Gas Energy Trust, TSB and more.

Cost of capital
NA Equity (2% of business)
Amount invested
£100,000 (part of £1m package)
Year of Investment
Product type
Equity investment


More than 17 million people in the UK are currently facing financial hardship, yet there is over £19bn in unclaimed annual benefits and grant funding available in the UK. The funding is available across a complex web of government benefits and discretionary support schemes that are poorly advertised and difficult for individuals to navigate. 

Lightning Reach was founded during the covid-19 pandemic whilst many individuals and families were struggling to navigate this system. Our aim is to empower anyone to access this support so that they can build lasting financial resilience and wellbeing.


We offer a financial support portal which seamlessly connects people in financial hardship to the support they need. Lightning Reach simplifies access across the complex ecosystem of grants, benefits, help with household bills and other vital resources for individuals and families in need. 

The portal can also be used by funders such as charities and local councils to streamline their administration processes, and by responsible organisations (e.g. banks, utilities, housing providers) seeking to support vulnerable clients. The platform was developed collaboratively with a cross-sector group of organisations and individuals with lived experience of financial hardship.


Lightning Reach is B2B business that sells access to its platform to organisations including grant-making charities, local authorities, housing associations, utility providers, financial institutions, advice agencies and local support providers.


Social investment has enabled Lightning Reach to grow our team and build capacity to onboard more client organisations, onboard more support schemes, and ultimately facilitate more grants and support to people in financially vulnerable situations. 

The investment has also enabled further product development, by adding new features to the Lightning Reach portal and enhancing the offering. We are now able to more effectively target larger potential customers.

By May 2024 (just over half a year since the fundraising round), Lightning Reach delivered £10m of funding to individuals through our portal. An estimated additional £3m of funding was unlocked through Lightning Reach’s referrals through the portal.

“We’re grateful to have the support from JRF, who are very much aligned to our purpose at Lightning Reach with their mission to end poverty in the UK. The social investment has enabled us to scale our work and impact, reaching over 100,000 registered users and facilitating over £10m in grants through the cost-of-living crisis (double since the investment last year).”

Ren Yi Hooi, Founder & CEO 

“Lightning Reach provides an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and scalable access route to financial grants and hardship support for individuals who are in the greatest need. JRF is delighted to be part of Lightning Reach's first institutional funding round, alongside other UK trusts and foundations.”

Denise Holle, Head of Social Investment