B2B Payments

Microsoft Azure Now Hosting SME Alt-Lender


An alternative small business lender has now switched its hosting platform to Microsoft Azure in a move the firm says represents its strong growth trajectory.

Folk2Folk announced Tuesday (Nov. 8) that it has gone live on Microsoft Azure cloud after being hosted on Rackspace, though the company said it would continue to use Rackspace to optimize its cloud apps. The company, which launched in 2013, said the migration will allow the company to be hosted on the cloud and yet still focus on expansion.

“We were sold on the benefits of the cloud but didn’t want to set up the solution ourselves because it would have taken focus away from growth, which is a key priority for us,” said Folk2Folk IT Director Karl Straw in a statement.

The U.K. company focuses on providing loans to small businesses rejected by traditional banks for financing.

Folk2Folk will first migrate its loan management system to Microsoft’s Azure cloud, with its financing system following suit, according to reports. Its loan management system, FolkLMS, manages the company’s relationship to investors, Straw explained.

According to the executive, the company had previously hosted its servers in-house and was paying for a disaster recovery service.

“We chose Azure because it’s a great platform for our business,” Straw added. “We are growing rapidly and are in constant need of bigger, better environments. To do this with our own equipment or a normal hosting environment would have been very capital-intensive.”



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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