The UK-based alternative corporate financing platform, Funding Options, is set to open their doors to the Dutch marketplace after securing the backing of local bank ING. This marks the next step in a continuing partnership with the incumbent bank, after ING’s fintech venture arm committed GBP 5 million to the fintech platform in September of last year.
Funding Options was originally named as one of three alternative business funding platforms under the UK government’s bank referral scheme, which ensures banks who decline a credit application to SMEs are referred to an alternative source of funding. Boasting a network of over 50 lenders, the platform hopes to service SMEs who fail to fit lending criteria for banks, with their managing director, Ryan Edwards-Pritchard explaining “Too often small businesses will face the challenge of not being able to access funding from mainstream lenders, whether because they are too young, too small or simply because they don’t meet the banks’ criteria.”
Head of operations for the Netherlands, Eugenie Casier, spoke on how Funding Options solves problems for Dutch businesses, their excitement at entering the Dutch market, and fintech-bank collaboration:
Funding Options is proving in the UK that many business owners still don’t know about alternative finance and that they need support to find the most suitable funding for their situation. Businesses in the Netherlands also have this problem and we’re here to solve it. We’re very excited to launch Funding Options in the Netherlands in partnership with ING to help the 1.8 million Dutch businesses access vital funding. This is a great example of fintechs and banks working together for the benefit of the customer. We’re looking forward to building bridges between traditional lending and modern online lenders and helping Dutch businesses achieve their goals.
The partnership will allow ING to better cater for consumers by offering a route to alternative sources of finance for those not eligible for traditional financial products with the Dutch bank. This will mark an initiative from ING to continue partnering with fintech, and to precede governmental pressure to promote alternative finance and SME growth.