More than 1,000 customers benefitted from the Funding Options marketplace for business finance since September 2018
SMEs increasingly turn to alternative finance as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
During the period December 2020-February 2021, the average loan amount increased by 224 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier
9 August 2021 – Funding Options, a marketplace for business finance, has provided finance to more than 1000 SMEs since the company entered the Dutch market in 2018. Traditional banks turn down up to 75% of SME finance applications, while demand for alternative finance has increased during the pandemic. Rather than looking at past performance, Funding Options considers each applicant’s financial outlook. In doing so, Funding Options has provided approximately half a billion euros to SMEs in the Netherlands and the UK so they can continue to trade and grow.
Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options, says: “We are extremely proud of what we have achieved over the years. The growth of the alternative finance market has accelerated over the past year and a half, allowing us to celebrate this fantastic milestone. We owe our success to our fantastic team, comprising software developers and business finance specialists who support business owners every step of the way with helpful advice and assistance. Thanks to their efforts, we have grown from an unknown newcomer in 2018 to one of the leading marketplaces for business finance with more than a 1000 satisfied customers.”
Top 3 sectors
Internal figures show that customers who work in the building and construction sector are the most successful in obtaining finance. Clients from the hospitality industry and the advisory and consultancy sector follow closely behind. Funding Options works with a panel of more than 20 alternative finance lenders to help SMEs across sectors secure the right finance that suits their unique set of circumstances.
Average finance amount
The average finance amount provided via the Funding Options marketplace has risen sharply over the past year and a half. From December 2019 to February 2020, the average figure for new finance (this excludes monthly factoring or top-up loans) was almost 25,000 euros. A year later (December 2020-February 2021), the average credit sum for new financing had increased by 224 per cent to nearly 80,000 euros.
Forms of financing
The finance needs of entrepreneurs have changed considerably due to the coronavirus. The year before the start of the pandemic, the majority (51 per cent) of business owners needed working capital, for example, to pay a hefty invoice or cover employee salaries. Since March 2020, the demand for investment funding has grown significantly, which has reduced the share of working capital finance to 30 per cent of the total volume of finance provided via Funding Options.
“The shift from working capital finance to investment funding came as no surprise,” says Simon Cureton. “Business owners who under normal circumstances turned to us for working capital finance were able to tap into the government’s support measures. Nevertheless, the free market economy continued at full speed. Financially sound companies were able to identify new market opportunities for which they needed investing capital. The alternative finance industry has been able to capitalise on that need: we stepped in at the point at which the government or the banks no longer supported SMEs.”
Funding Options has an ‘excellent’ feedback score of 4.8 on review site Trustpilot.nl with customers leaving positive comments about the support they receive:
Ferry Duwel of Fedu-Solutions: “Helped to think of solutions and are supportive. Positive and clear relationship, act quickly and clear communication.” (18 March 2021)
De Interieurbouwer: “Speedy process and friendly professionals. Understood the circumstances of a growing company that isn’t well-served by a risk-averse finance system. Very encouraging that options are available to smaller entrepreneurs and that we are being taken seriously.” (12 November 2020)
Bea: “Quick and pleasant process. We needed start-up capital to take over a flower shop. Collin Crowdfunding were able to organise this for us. From the very first positive conversation, the team started to put things in place. It was a quick process. They are an example to many other finance providers.” (31 March 2020)
“This type of feedback warms my heart,” says Simon Cureton. “Research shows that most SMEs are not yet sufficiently familiar with the many forms of alternative finance available. However, these comments demonstrate that with the right support business owners can secure suitable finance in no time at all.”
Simon Cureton concludes: “We are on a mission to transform the business finance landscape. For example, we recently launched our Green Finance Marketplace to connect businesses to the funding they need to help them reach net zero. We also have plans to introduce our fully-integrated, real-time lending platform Funding Cloud in the Dutch market It is already operational in the UK and in the future will enable Dutch and UK SMEs to source a host of data-driven services through digital journeys.”
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.