Fintech business lender MarketFinance has today announced a £280m debt and equity fundraise and its accreditation under the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). This comes after MarketFinance became one of the first fintechs to be accredited under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), having lent £250m to companies across the UK.
Launched by the British Business Bank in April 2021, the Recovery Loan Scheme supports access to finance for UK businesses as they recover and grow following the pandemic. Funding from the Scheme can be used for any legitimate business purpose including managing cashflow, investment in new equipment and preparing for future growth. It is designed to appeal to businesses that can afford to take out additional finance for these purposes.
MarketFinance is ready to lend immediately with its debt and equity funding. The debt financing has been provided from a large global investment firm alongside Italy’s largest bank, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. The equity investment was led by Black River Ventures (previous investments include Marqeta, Upgrade, Coursera and Digital Ocean) with participation from existing investor, Barclays Bank PLC.
Alongside this, the launch of MarketFinance Flex Loans today will aim to help nearly one million SMEs in the UK solve their short-term funding gaps up to £100,000. Viola Credit has provided MarketFinance with £20m to launch the Flex Loans product. Similar to a credit card or overdraft, businesses will have a pre-agreed limit of up to £100,000 which they can withdraw at once or in smaller amounts. Flexible repayment options enable the businesses to spread their repayments over 3 - 12 months based on their working capital needs. It is a solution to support a variety of one-off and ongoing funding requirements such as purchasing inventory, clearing outstanding invoices, upfront supplier payments, investment into sales and marketing, or expanding the team.
Anil Stocker, CEO at MarketFinance, commented: “This funding and our accreditation as a Recovery Loan Scheme lender is testament to the brilliant work everyone at MarketFinance has done to serve UK businesses during a difficult period. Adapting to the increased demand from businesses looking for finance online instead of through traditional avenues also drove our profitability this year, which has continued into H2 2021”.
From today, businesses can immediately apply for an RLS loan from MarketFinance between £50k and £250k repayable over 4, 5 or 6 years. Repayments in the first six months of the term will only consist of interest charges, an additional support measure as businesses gear themselves for a full reopening of the economy.
Anil Stocker added: “Businesses have been resilient and managed to hold their nerve during one of the most difficult periods in recent history. We were there to help with the CBILS and will do the same with the RLS by offering a simple application process, quick decisions and sending funds to businesses immediately. Our fundraise puts us in pole position to do this. We played a key role during CBILS, as one of the first fintech lenders, to help get funds to businesses quickly when they found their applications were delayed and or denied by others. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with businesses and help navigate them through to the full reopening of the economy and beyond”.
As a native fintech, the MarketFinance platform is designed to receive, process and manage large volumes of businesses applying for finance using the platform. From simple online application forms, enhanced credit risk models to exceptional one-to-one customer support, MarketFinance will get RLS funds to businesses in need, quickly.
“We aim to quickly lend £250m to businesses around the UK. We anticipate demand for RLS to come from companies that will need capital to scale operations ahead of the full reopening of the economy. Manufacturers, wholesalers, public services businesses and a range of others will need the funds to ramp up supplies and build pipelines as business returns to normal” added Anil Stocker.