Funding Options, a UK Fintech that provides a “supermarket” of financing options for SMEs, has received a £5 million investment from ING Ventures – the VC arm of the global bank. The additional capital is expected to be used for Funding Options to expand its services internationally. In June 2018, Funding Options announced its expansion into the Dutch SME finance market, in partnership with ING.
Funding Options claims to be the UK’s largest online marketplace for SME finance, linking lenders with businesses across the UK to provide over £100 million of funding to thousands of firms each year. Currently, Funding Options says there are 50+ active finance providers on platform such as challenger bank loans, P2P lending, asset finance and leasing, and invoice finance, among others.
Funding Options is also a major contributor to HM Treasury’s Bank Referral Scheme, in which SMEs that are turned down for bank lending are referred on to designated platforms for alternative finance options.
“This investment is particularly important for the international expansion of our business. Our model has proven itself over the last five years in the UK – we are already the biggest online marketplace in Europe for business lending. Many small businesses aren’t suitable for traditional bank lending but with Funding Options, banks can offer an ‘alternative yes’ instead of a straight ‘no’. New initiatives such as Open Banking offer further hope for the age-old problem of access to finance – enabling proactive, tailored support previously only available to larger firms – and we intend to lead the charge,” said Ford.
Ford said the thousands of UK businesses they finance is a small fraction of the firms they can help across continental Europe.
“We’re hugely excited about the opportunity before us,” said Ford.