The newly announced partnership between Finpoint, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and PwC allows for the expansion of Pinpoint’s service into the UK. Finpoint has already been supported by 70 lenders across the UK, including among others Loyds Bank, Metro Bank, Funding Circle, FundingKnight and BoostCapital. Finpoint will complement other SME services already provided by LEP and its partners to stimulate and support small business in the Leeds region.PwC and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) partnered to launch the Finpoint platform in the UK.
“Finpoint is a proven platform which we have adapted to the specific needs of UK SMEs seeking funding,” commented Finpoint CEO Rainer Plentl. “The platform allows SMEs to be in control of the process of finding finance and gives them access to alternative lenders, including crowdfunding platforms, and existing funders such as banks and challenger banks that operate in specific niches of the lending market.”
Launched in Germany in 2010, Finpoint seeks to connect the financial needs of SMEs with small and large investors. The platform allows SME users to create an – anonymous – application for funding that will be sent to a wide range of lenders – including specialist finance houses, banks and alternative finance providers. On successful applications, SMEs will be notified by funders interested in their project, and may then choose their most preferred option. The service is free of charge. Since its launch, Finpoint has provided its service to over 5,000 SMEs with over €200 million raised last year, according to Consultancy.uk.
“SMEs are a key part of the economy and we want to make it easier for them to grow and succeed,” PwC Director Stuart Howie observed. “We know that access to finance can often hold back SME development and believe the platform can really help them by putting alternate financing routes alongside traditional lenders. We see our partnership with the LEP and Finpoint as a natural step to help local SMEs and one that builds on our own SME MyFinanceparter service launched last year.”
The Finpoint platform allows the business to prepare one funding application that can be shared anonymously with over 70 lenders including banks, specialist finance houses and alternative finance providers. The service is provided at no cost to the business and covers a variety of financial products including:
- Business loan – a flexible way to fund growth projects while keeping the cost of finance predictable
- Leasing or hire purchase – subject to the tax position of the business, it may be more cost effective to lease equipment rather than to purchase it outright
- Invoice finance – improve the cash flow of one’s business without jeopardising client relationships
- Trade finance – ideal for businesses that import or export goods and require finance to grow – or any form of supply chain finance
“Leeds City Region boasts over 100,000 SMEs who are vital to our economy, but we know from our recent business survey that access to finance can be a major barrier to growth for companies in the region,” LEP Director Rob Norreys remarked. “Our partnership with Finpoint and PwC, will help businesses reach over 70 lenders quickly and easily and identify those interested in lending to them.”