International

UK FinTech MarketFinance Nets $65.8M To Extend SMB Loans

MarketFinance, a FinTech business lender, has secured a £50 million ($65.8 million) loan investment from Viola Credit, the Israeli asset manager, to go toward lending for the U.K. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) initiative to help businesses affected by the pandemic, the company said in an email media release Monday (Sept. 7).

MarketFinance CEO Anil Stocker said the new funding will go toward helping businesses that still need access to CBILS even as it's ending.

"Only 60,409 CBILS facilities have been approved since the pandemic started, versus 1.2m Bounce Back Loan approvals," Stocker said, according to the release. "This shows there are many businesses who could still benefit from accessing CBILS finance before the scheme ends. For many who took a Bounce Back Loan, there is now a short window where they can refinance onto a larger CBILS facility which could see them over to the new year."

The announcement comes as MarketFinance rolls out its "unified application" process, which will let small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) apply for a number of finance options at one time and be able to select the one best suited for the individual SMB.

That process means SMBs will be able to apply for a loan today and also set them up for invoice financing or a revolving credit facility when the order book fills up.

MarketFinance's tools include Autoflow, which allows it to make snap decisions on almost half of all applications by just collecting a few pieces of information. The Selector tool is a proprietary risk model that allows the FinTech to assess loan applicants under pre-pandemic models to help make funding decisions not solely based on the pandemic's unpredictable conditions and allows them to hopefully have more chance at being approved, the release says.

The last round of CBILS ends at the end of this month.

The U.K. government has declined some other financial aid measures, such as one that would have provided help for supply chain finance providers. The program was deemed unlikely to be effective for the companies in need of the most assistance.

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