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Funding Options transforms SME finance with first fully integrated real-time lending platform, the Funding Cloud (™)

London, 27.04.2021: Funding Options, the leading marketplace for business finance, has launched Funding Cloud (™), a technology and data-driven platform that will bring unparalleled scale and speed to the UK SME finance sector. Lenders including Just Cash Flow, iwoca, YouLend, Optimum Finance and FIBR have already integrated with Funding Cloud (™) to benefit from its innovative technology and as a highly efficient channel for customer acquisition. By Q4 this year, the company expects to have more than 30 UK lenders fully integrated.

One of the greatest challenges for SME owners is navigating the complexity of finance solutions available in a highly fragmented lending market. Funding Cloud (™) powers a centralised two-sided marketplace, streamlining the process for all participants, offering speed and certainty for SMEs, and reducing friction for lenders creating a vastly more efficient market. Through data analytics, open banking APIs and Artificial Intelligence, it is the only platform to present customers with confirmed funding options via a single dynamic customer journey, to help SMEs quickly find the most suitable lenders and products based on their eligibility and needs.

Funding Cloud (™) has the power to deliver real-time instant decisions and firm offers from lenders, based on the two-way exchange of rich digital information. This is a milestone innovation for the SME finance sector, allowing Funding Options to improve upon its already leading capabilities in delivering fast lending decisions to its customers. The fintech has reached a new record of 20.614 seconds from loan application to credit approved with the previous record being just 2 minutes and 56 seconds. Importantly, borrowers that do not match lender criteria receive free insight to understand the financial health of their business and what may be required to gain approval in future.

The platform completes the legwork for lenders, but they retain control where required, underwriting loans and managing their products through a dedicated lender portal. The data rich Funding Cloud (™) also enables a comparable lending score to be developed for every business, providing insight into propensity for success with Funding Options’ lender panel and overall risk for lender consumption.

Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options comments, “Our mission is to deliver a single platform that powers holistic digital SME solutions, matching businesses with the best funding options. We are incredibly excited for the launch of Funding Cloud (™) as part of that journey. This builds on the significant scale we have, both in terms of our SME acquisition flow and distribution to our UK lender partners. Our initial priority will be in getting more lenders transitioned onto the new platform and introducing the Funding Cloud in the Netherlands in the second half of this year. Longer-term, the platform will enable a host of SME data driven services to be sourced through digital journeys. COVID-19 has shone a huge spotlight on the SME lending ecosystem and Funding Cloud (™) coupled with our market leading acquisition flow, has the power to transform the SME finance landscape.”

John Davies, Executive Chairman at Just Cashflow comments, “Working capital is the lifeblood of any business. Our customers want both flexibility and fast decision making when it comes to securing the finance they need to grow and maximise profitability. The Funding Options technology enables this in a truly revolutionary way and we are excited to be one of the first partners to be integrated with Funding Cloud (™). The platform enables us to deliver a tailored approach to each customer, matching them with the right product quickly and efficiently.”

Christoph Rieche, CEO and co-founder of iwoca adds, “Embedded finance is at the heart of what we do. Our technology and this integration means we can now offer bespoke loans that are tailored to each of our partners – such as Funding Options through their exciting new Funding Cloud (™) platform. We believe that business owners should be able to access finance where and when they need it and through the very services they use day-to-day. This includes invoice management systems, bookkeeping apps and of course when trying to source funding through online marketplaces. The Funding Cloud (™) will allow us to scale our own lending, reach more small business owners and importantly make it much easier and faster for them to access the finance they need to rebuild and grow.”

Chris Smith, Chief Commercial Officer at FIBR comments, “Delivering the best in class lending experience is something we are highly focused on at FIBR. For us a good experience is a fast experience. Through Funding Cloud we are able to deliver real time, tailor-made loan offers to potential business clients so they can find the right financing solution quicker and easier. By collaborating with Funding Options on this new technology approach to lending we hope to serve a wider range of businesses with the funds they need to grow.”

Aleks Kudic, CTO of Funding Options says, “In building the Funding Cloud (™), we started with a vision of what the ideal platform for SME lending would look like. To execute this vision, we adopted a customer first approach to prioritise customer expectations at every stage of their funding journey. Customers look at three key things – speed of loan approvals, the cost of taking out the loan and the amount of funding they are eligible to receive. Key partnerships in open banking, open accounting and credit referencing have been pivotal to remove friction from the current process to give businesses accurate offers and lenders reassurance that sufficient due diligence has been carried out. Over time this scalable, data rich marketplace will act as a clearing house for SME loans, enabling the market to move faster than ever before.”

About Funding Options:

Funding Options is a leading data-driven marketplace for business finance, helping SMEs get the right funding in place so they can trade, plan and grow with confidence. With over 120 leading lender partners, Funding Options has helped more than 10,000 businesses across the UK and Netherlands secure over £0.5bn in funding.

In a highly fragmented SME lending ecosystem, Funding Options is fast becoming the de facto marketplace for business finance, connecting businesses, lenders and partners in a frictionless digital journey. The company is transforming the way SMEs access finance through a combination of award-winning technology which uses data analytics, open banking APIs and Artificial Intelligence, and a dedicated team of experienced Business Finance Specialists to ensure borrowers can make informed decisions and have access to funding within minutes.

Recognised as a fast-growth scaleup, Funding Options was named in the top 25% of the FT 1000, the annual list of Europe’s fastest growing companies and is part of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK’s (SVC2UK) 2020 Scale Up Club cohort, a prestigious annual list of fast-growth UK technology companies destined for great things.

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