London fintech Curve has missed its December deadline to file its financial reports, putting it in breach of its public disclosure commitments, Companies House records show.
The startup, which is one of the UK's most valuable fintechs, was expected to file its 2019 financials before December 31st, having already been granted extensions in March and October.
Curve's filings are one of the most hotly anticipated results among London startups, having last filed public accounts over 18 months ago (when it recorded a loss of £10.6m).
The company, which allows customers to integrate multiple bank accounts into one smart card, is also rumoured to be closing a £100m+ fundraise just shy of unicorn valuation to fuel expansion in the US.
In addition, Curve has nearly 10,000 public investors after hosting a record-setting crowdfunding event, joining large institutional investors like Santander InnoVentures and Speedinvest.
The startup has now had over 12 months to review and publish its annual report.
A Curve spokesperson told Sifted: 'The accounts are ready and we are in the process of filing.'
However, they did not respond to a request for clarification on what had caused the delay, or the exact timeline for filing.
Its next set of results will run from October 2018 to December 2019.
Clumsy or strategic?
Financial reports are mandatory for all businesses in the UK.
Nonetheless, startups aren't obliged to be particularly transparent with their finances, given they usually have a small number of private stakeholders.
The consequence of filing late is also relatively minor, including a small fine in Curve's case.
As a result, it's not unheard of for startups to fall short of their public disclosure duties.
Companies House also offered UK businesses a 3-month extension last year because of Covid, which Curve and other large startups like Deliveroo took advantage of.
Yet continued administrative delays could put Curve's credibility at risk, one fintech observer told Sifted.
"Unless they have a very good excuse...it looks like they can't get their ducks in order."
The individual, who is a qualified accountant, added that Curve may also be trying to avoid scrutiny at the height of its fundraising efforts.
Curve has already faced calls for greater public transparency, with the FT accusing its 2019 crowdfunding pitch of being "opaque" and leaving retail investors in the dark. In response, Curve argued that investors could consult the records on Companies House.
Soon after, a report by Business Insider questioned how many of Curve’s alleged 500,000 customers were actively using their card, estimating it could be as low as 14%.
When approached by Sifted at the time, Curve responded that the leaked statistics were from “a long time ago”, but denied to disclose updated activity metrics.
Curve also seems to have an outdated FCA page, although a spokesperson said that it had made multiple requests to correct the register.