UK-fintech business lender MarketFinance is an online platform that lets businesses access a range of flexible finance solutions easily. Today, the fintech has secured £280 million debt and equity investment. Also, it has been accredited by the British Business Bank as a lender under Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).
The debt financing was 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 that has backed Marqeta, Upgrade, Coursera, and Digital Ocean alongside participation from existing investor, Barclays Bank PLC.
Flexible loans for UK businesses
MarketFinance intends to use the funds to help UK companies with business loans. It has launched Flex Loans, which is an unsecured flexible facility that will help SMEs solve their everyday cash flow problems. It aims 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 £20 million 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.
This solution will support a variety of one-off and ongoing funding requirements, including purchasing inventory, clearing outstanding invoices, upfront supplier payments, investment into sales and marketing or expanding the team.
Approved by Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)
Besides the investment, MarketFinance became one of the first fintechs to be accredited under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which lent £250 million 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 RLS can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including managing cash flow, investing 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.
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. To avail RLS loans from the fintech, businesses should have a Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership, should be trading for over 3 years with a turnover of over £200K and sell goods and/or services to consumers and/or other businesses.
Anil Stocker, co-founder and 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”.
He added, “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.”