Fintech business lender MarketFinance has been awarded a £10m grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF), announced today by Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR). The grant will be used to bring more choice and competition to the business lending industry.
MarketFinance, a household name in the UK business community, has provided over £3bn in invoice finance and business loans to thousands of UK businesses since 2011. They were accredited to lend under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), providing term loans from £50,001 to £150,000 and revolving credit facilities from £50,001 to £5 million to UK SMEs.
Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketFinance commented: “We are delighted to receive this award. We will provide more businesses with a unique digital offering that allows them to get on with the day-to-day running of their businesses, giving value back to customers and bringing some much needed competition to the business lending market.”
As part of the commitments in securing the grant funding, MarketFinance will extend their services to sole traders for the first time, reaching over 3.5 million business owners. The fintech business lender will also provide more finance options and create a range of new partnerships with banks, fintechs and technology companies to deliver and enhance the experience of businesses.
Stocker added: “This is a difficult time for UK businesses who are desperately trying to find the right finance to keep their doors open. We know that customers find it hard to manage multiple finance products across multiple providers; it’s why many stay with the incumbent banks. We will deliver a solution that radically reduces the complexity of managing finances for our customers, combining the product sophistication of a large lender, with the user-friendliness of a fintech.
“We know smaller SMEs and sole traders make up more than 90% of companies in the UK, yet they are at the greatest borrowing disadvantage. Our risk models are much better at understanding and serving these businesses than those of conventional lenders. It is our ambition to get £1b out to thousands of underserved SMEs in the next few years.
“We will match this £10m grant with money from our own funds to deliver this future vision. But, we can’t do it alone. We will be reaching out to a broad spectrum of partners who share our vision and ambition to deliver these goals. Our partnerships with Ebury, Barclays and Xero are testament to this. They are driven by agile people who deeply care and want to make a difference. We look forward to meeting more like-minded partners that will join us in this mission”
Richard Anderson, Chair of BCR, said: “We know that the winners and all SMEs in general face challenging times as we head towards winter with both the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic challenges ahead. For that reason, it has been exciting to see a very wide range of innovative approaches from so many applicants to supporting all sizes of SMEs in their banking needs. It has been difficult to narrow the awards down to a small number of outstanding winners and BCR looks forward to monitoring progress as they implement their programmes.”