Business finance marketplace, Funding Options has launched Funding Cloud: Connect, an extension of its Funding CloudTM platform, expanding its offering for intermediaries - accountants and business advisors. This digital-first advisory platform matches SMEs with the best funding options on the market based on their eligibility and needs.
Throughout the crisis, SMEs have relied heavily on their accountants to remain solvent, pivot their businesses and pursue growth opportunities. According to the BVA BDRC SME Finance Monitor, in Q2 2021, 61% of SMEs that have utilised funding said they were using more finance now than pre-pandemic (with 36% borrowing for the first time). At the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, Funding Options saw an 80% increase in applications for Funding between February and March with demand remaining above pre-pandemic levels since.
With more small businesses wanting advice from accountants on how to improve their financial position, Funding Options has supported more than 150 accountancy firms in the UK such as Cooper Parry, Smith & Williamson and Begbies Traynor to help clients pursue the right finance options in a highly fragmented lending market. And the value that accountants bring to the application process is clear as Funding Options data reveals that SMEs are almost 10 times more likely to be successful with a funding application when they apply via their accountant.
Funding Options is expanding access to Funding CloudTM for accountants through FC: Connect so they can create an account and refer clients quickly and effortlessly. Through Funding CloudTM, the business has reached a new record of 20 seconds from loan application to credit approved. Additionally, the new record time from application to funds in the bank is just 18 minutes. This means, accountants can source finance between £1,000 and up to £15M from multiple lenders for clients quickly and efficiently. Advisors will also be able to track the status of clients’ applications in real-time through a dedicated dashboard.
Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options comments, “The sector is shifting from compliance - handling tax, financial reporting and bookkeeping - towards a greater focus on business advisory by monitoring the health of clients’ businesses and advising on strategy. Typically, an accountant tasked with sourcing finance and collating the relevant paperwork for a SME can take weeks or months. Through FC: Connect, we are working directly with businesses and their trusted advisors to enable them to secure vital finance at speed, to help fulfil their strategic goals.
“Funding CloudTM has already unburdened SMEs and lenders and through the advisory portal will now provide a gateway for accountants to access the same benefits of fast, fair and competitive loans. Whether their clients are looking for asset finance, a merchant cash advance, a revolving credit facility, or a bridging loan, Funding Cloud: Connect gives accountants access to the best options on the market to enable them to become the go-to trusted advisor.
Nick Levine, Chartered Accountant and Fintech Specialist comments, “It's a privilege to be given early access to test out a product which enables accountants to strengthen their position as trusted advisors. FC: Connect allows accountants to source fair and competitive finance offers on behalf of SME clients in a collaborative way. The platform will give us the flexibility to choose how we want to manage business finance on behalf of our clients, whether through a Funding Options Business Finance Specificalist or directly ourselves. Rather than waiting weeks for approval, the technological infrastructure of Funding CloudTM removes the headache for accountants and gives them access to instant approvals for clients, so their attention can be turned to focus on strategic guidance to grow their SME client’s business.”
About Funding Options
Funding Options is a leading data-driven marketplace for business finance, helping SMEs get the right funding in place so they can trade, plan and grow with confidence. Funding Options has helped nearly 11,000 businesses across the UK and Netherlands secure over £575m in funding.
In a highly fragmented SME lending ecosystem, Funding Options is fast becoming the de facto marketplace for business finance, connecting businesses, lenders and partners in a frictionless digital journey. The company is transforming the way SMEs access finance through a combination of award-winning technology which uses data analytics, open banking APIs and Artificial Intelligence, and a dedicated team of experienced Business Finance Specialists to ensure borrowers can make informed decisions and have access to funding within minutes.
Recognised as a fast-growth scaleup, Funding Options was named in the top 25% of the FT 1000, the annual list of Europe’s fastest growing companies and is part of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK’s (SVC2UK) 2020 Scale Up Club cohort, a prestigious annual list of fast-growth UK technology companies destined for great things.