Leading alternative funders team up to launch SME finance platform

From crowdfunding to invoice finance, P2P and pension-led funding, Alternative Business Funding signposts businesses towards which of the funding options could be the best option for them. 

Collectively, CrowdCube, Funding Circle, Market Invoice, Platform Black, Seedrs, Zopa and Pensionledfunding.com account for 85% of the alternative non-bank funding market and have provided to date more than £580m to SMEs, supporting around 80,000 jobs.

The initiative is the brainchild of Adam Tavener, chairman of pensionledfunding.com, who said the portal was “complementary” to bank finance.

He said: “’We see this portal as a genuinely disruptive influence, as it will shake up the SME finance sector and drive the current inefficiencies from the system.”

The portal is partly a reaction to the Breedon report, which called for better signposting of alternative funders when businesses are turned down by banks.

The group hopes that banks unwilling to lend will be willing to point business in their direction.

James Meekings, co-founder of Funding Circle, said: “All of the funders involved in the portal are determined to significantly enhance the availability, clarity and quality of alternative funding solutions to both SME’s and major Banks wanting to refer unsuccessful applicants.”

Matthew Fell, CBI director for Competitive Markets, said: “There are lots of innovative alternative finance products on the market in the UK for growing firms but the simple fact is that most businesses aren’t aware of what’s available, or how to get hold of it.

“So it’s really encouraging to see some of the leading providers getting together to raise awareness of their products by launching a new one-stop-shop website.”

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