Member Spotlight: Capsearch, financial marketplace for SMEs

Member Spotlight: Capsearch, financial marketplace for SMEs

Capsearch is a financial marketplace for SMEs with the goal to increase access to capital. Currently more than 30 lenders are connected, which results in a wide scope of financing options. The application, launched last May, is now available in the Netherlands and is already serving numerous businesses via their affiliated intermediaries.

Capsearch is a fintech start-up providing an application enabling to match supply and demand for SME financing. To do so, the company standardized the financing process from different lenders in the market (banks, crowdfunding, leasing, factoring, etc). SME advisors use the platform to create credit applications and process these applications to different lenders. This system ensures SMEs to receive several quotes from different sources of financing and to make credit application easier for every actor in the field: on one end are the customers and on the other are the lenders. Picture Capsearch as the middle knot tying them all together in one channel.

The core customers are accounting firms and financial advisors. Capsearch strongly believes in the role of advisors in the SME financing market. Due to the increasing number of lenders and the diversity of products, advice of an independent advisor is of great importance. Research underlines this importance, as 60% of all entrepreneurs involve their SME advisor when seeking for financing. The shift in lenders’ business models emphasizes the role of the advisor, because high street banks are moving towards online service models which means downsizing the front office. In addition alternative lenders are outsourcing advice and are strongly depending on advisors.

Capsearch offers a wide fund range (100k – 15M), can handle all different financing structures and enables hybrid financing by showing all the financing possibilities. It can be considered as one of the most advanced tools on the market. The start-up is already active with extra services because they noticed that customers and lenders are interested in using the software as internal system or as a white label. In addition, the software is used as a CRM system where all customer data is stored. This makes the software part of the customers working processes.

The start-up is based in Amstelveen, from where the team operates across the Netherlands. The idea behind Capsearch was born in 2016, while the two co-founders were working at ABN Amro Bank. After meeting with potential clients to pitch their project and receiving a declaration of intent of one of the big four accountancy firms, the two founders were driven by the enthusiasm the project encountered. After months of preparation, they launched the product. The current team exist of five people.

As for the culture pushing Capsearch, it is a blend of start-up characteristics: flexible, open, and dynamic, with a team able to withstand a rather important workload, driven by one goal: to increase access to capital.

When asking about the future, co-founder Max Henny replied: “compare it with standardisation process in the mortgage industry, which is considered as very transparent, the SME financing industry is going in the same direction”. Capsearch foresees the entry of several new lenders in the market like institutional investors and private equity parties who will compete with the hight streets banks. These lenders are seeking for ways to finance SMEs efficiently and Capsearch is able to facilitate this. With the software these parties can set up their internal assessment processes digitally but also receive leads from the network of affiliated intermediaries. The ambition is to set the standard at first in the Netherlands. In addition, the company is currently investigating in which countries they want to expand.

Capsearch joined Holland FinTech in 2016. As a forming start-up, there are a lot of challenges: it can sometimes be quite difficult to find the way. This was one of the motives to join the Holland FinTech network, as well as the opportunity as a start-up to connect with corporates and other players.

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