Capitalise secures £10m funding to launch integrated credit protection service
Capitalise.com, a digital platform that allows accountants and their SME clients to access capital from mainstream and alternative finance providers with a suite of credit and risk tools, has raised £10m from Experian, QED Investors, Gauss Ventures, Hambro Perks and Post Finance.
The investment will expand Capitalise’s accountant and SME platform with a suite of integrated credit protection and risk management services designed specifically for SMEs.
Powered by Experian and embedded within an accounting service and SME balance sheet, ‘Capital Reports’ takes up where traditional credit reports leave off. It allows accountants to protect their SME clients from unforeseen risks of their clients’ and suppliers’ credit positions by warning of potential defaults, it analyses what is available to a business and its propensity or need to borrow, and provides real time access to Capitalise’ curated marketplace of over 100 mainstream and alternative lenders.
Half a million UK SMEs have cash reserves of 4 weeks or less. Of those, some 230,000 are at high risk. Their average account balance is £45,000 but the average SME has £30k in outstanding delayed payments: with little idea about when, or if they will be paid. A stronger understanding of the financial risks posed by the suppliers and clients on whom they depend makes SMEs more resilient while improving their own credit rating, allowing easier access to capital at more attractive pricing from both mainstream and alternative finance providers.
Capitalise CEO and Co-Founder Paul Surtees said: “Everybody has had to think differently during the pandemic, including us, so we created a virtuous circle in which SMEs and their advisors are shielded from risk and helped to grow. Powered by Experian’s credit data, our propensity modelling and open banking, we underline our commitment to our accounting community by bringing their data to life and supporting their SME clients, in bad times and good”.
“‘Capital Reports’ will be available on the Capitalise platform which underpins the digitisation and access to capital of over 2,000 UK accounting firms and has delivered over £1bn of offers from its panel of 200 capital providers. Delivery will be through a free and paid subscription model. On launch it will be available to more than 450,000 SMEs via their accountants and many more via API and open banking partnerships.”
Capitalise CPO and Co-Founder Ollie Maitlaind said: “Managing credit risk is central to lender activity but SME owners typically overlook it. This restricts their growth and jeopardises their survival. While the digitalisation of financial services was on course to deliver SMEs with efficient access to new capital providers, the pandemic highlighted the fragility of their supply chains. As they emerge, their ability to recover and protect capital, while boosting their appeal to the lending community will be crucial. Capital Reports will make an unprecedented and timely contribution to SMEs’ ability to survive, and grow, in the UK within the coming months, in South Africa in Q4 with more countries to follow.”