SME finance portal launched by alternative funders

Posted on 11 Mar 2014 by The Manufacturer

A new collaboration between seven UK alternative business funders which aims to make borrowing easier for SMEs has been launched.

The web portal will signpost SMEs to the most appropriate source of non-bank funding, while also helping the main banks in supporting rejected applicants.

This involves each organisation “recycling” rejected applicants to the site to access other potential non-bank funding sources.

The seven organisations includes Collectively, CrowdCube, Funding Circle, Market Invoice, Platform Black, Seedrs, Zopa and, all of which account for 85% of the alternative non-bank funding market and have provided in excess of £580m to SMEs to date.

The new web portal makes the start of a campaign aimed at creating a more collaborative environment for business funding and simplifying SME owners’ search for business finance.

It comes just two months after Bank of England figures showed lending to small businesses had dropped by £0.3bn, and has won praise from Matthew Fell, director for competitive markets at the Confederation of British Industry.

“There are lots of innovative alternative finance products on the market in the UK for growing firms but the simple fact is that most businesses aren’t aware of what’s available, or how to get hold of it,” he said.

“So it’s really encouraging to see some of the leading providers getting together to raise awareness of their products by launching a new one-stop-shop website.”

Adam Tavener, chairman at partner, added: “’We see this portal as a genuinely disruptive influence, as it will shake up the SME finance sector and drive the current inefficiencies from the system.”

It has also won support from business secretary Vince Cable, who added: “A new alternative business funding portal that seven funding bodies put together will enable redirection of customers.

“Anything that redirects people who are turned down by one lender, is an advance.”