Praetura, the group of companies that provides alternative finance to SMEs, is expanding with the launch of a £40m fund designed to provide rapid finance to professional services firms.
Praetura Enterprise Finance aims to support professional services firms – such as accountants, solicitors and other practices – and SMEs from other sectors with funding that can be approved within 24 hours.
The group believes SME-sized companies are currently underserved by traditional lenders even though they require a steady stream of capital to cope with cashflow challenges and to invest in new technology.
Praetura Enterprise Finance, which is led by director Paul Slapa and based in Chester, will offer clients access to competitively-priced funding provided directly and via a panel of lenders.
Paul, who previously led Wesleyan Bank’s direct lending division, said: “We believe there’s a clear gap in the market for professional services firms such as accountants and lawyers, which face distinct opportunities and challenges.
“Their models must grapple with working capital issues while their sectors are disrupted by technology and new market entrants. Without lenders that understand these factors and offer finance quickly, many firms will struggle to grow as quickly as they could.”
Praetura Enterprise Finance is aiming to provide £40m of financing to SMEs in its first year, offering funding solutions to cover short term liabilities, mid-term working capital issues as well as technology, equipment and other areas of investment in their businesses.
Paul added: “This is a large, underserved market currently, so we’re confident there’ll be strong appetite for our fund. Accountancy firms in particular are seeking to build relationships with funders to better support their clients, while other businesses want to know they have a supportive lender that understands their market.
“With a team of sector specialists, a relationship-led approach and a capacity to offer finance quickly and efficiently, we believe Praetura Enterprise Finance will appeal to ambitious firms across the professional services sector.”