The launch of the SME funding scheme by ESF and ThinCats will support loans from £100,000 right up to £5m for leaders looking for an injection to take their companies to the next level. It comes as the lender looks to scale over the next two years.
ESO Capital, a Europe-wide investor that often contributes €10m to €40m of investment to businesses, has committed £30m to the ThinCats SME funding programme.
The company is joined by New York-headquartered Waterfall Asset Management, which has added £70m to the pot, a firm that currently manages $6bn of assets. Elsewhere, other loans will be supplied through the ThinCats peer-to-peer lending platform.
“This additional investor base will allow us to significantly increase funding for small businesses’ expansion, acquisition or refinancing plans. Our focus on providing amounts up to £5m based on assets and reliable cashflows means we occupy a space where traditional providers ‘can’t work’ rather than ‘won’t work’,” said ThinCats chief development officer Damon Walford.
The SME funding is open nationwide, with ThinCats keen to attract businesses across regions and sectors. ThinCats itself was launched to avoid supporting companies based on algorithms, and works to listen to applications for SME funding on a case by case basis.
Walford continued: “We have built an impressive team to service the market focussed on working alongside professional intermediaries to source opportunities and this funding ensures we are able to provide certainty to borrowers and their advisers.
“This is a significant stage in the continued development of our business, which we plan to significantly increase over the next two years and we are excited by what the future holds.”
ESF’s MD, Ravi Anand, added: “ESF has engaged across the institutional market and this is the first key initiative in our plans to provide significant funding to the UK SME market.
“Generating a strong and sustainable yield from providing finance for small and growing businesses is a compelling alternative to traditional fixed income investments when combined with the funding gap left by conventional lenders.”[rb_inline_related]