iwoca, a European alternative lender for small businesses, is reportedly planning to lend more than £200 million to small businesses before the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) applications close in January 2021.
iwoca recently surpassed £100 million in CBILS lending. The platform now plans to lend “at least a further £100 million before the scheme closes,” according to a release shared with Crowdfund Insider.
The announcement noted:
“Over the past month 83% of iwoca’s approvals through the scheme were given to new customers. iwoca is increasing its maximum loan value available to businesses through CBILS to £750,000.”
iwocaPay, which is the alternative lender’s “Buy Now, Pay Later” invoice product, will also be available for free for SMEs during the UK’s lockdown period.
As stated in the release:
“This [update from iwoca] comes as analysis of Treasury figures shows that iwoca approved one in every 18 of all loans via the scheme in the last month, helping hundreds of small businesses affected by the pandemic. Since launching its CBILS offering in May, iwoca has steadily increased its share of total approvals in the scheme, rising from 1.6% in August to 5.6% in October [2020.]”
Michael Elalouf, CFO at iwoca, stated that small business owners in the UK have had a really difficult year, and the lender is grateful that it has been able to play its part in assisting these companies with getting through these unprecedented times (due to COVID-19).
Elalouf also mentioned that with the recent CBILS extension, iwoca’s focus is now on “reaching as many business owners as possible who think they could benefit from Government-backed finance.” He added that iwoca “stands ready to help those customers who are struggling to get the support they need from the high street banks during this time.”
Garry Barker, Managing Director of Yorkshire based property development and construction company – Dream Developments – and iwoca CBILS customer, remarked:
“We develop commercial premises for local businesses. Pre-pandemic we had big expansion plans but these were shelved due to the lack of mainstream funding.”
Barker noted that in order to survive, his company had to adapt. He revealed that they did this by diversifying into creating storage containers instead of buildings for their customers, in order to take care of a domestic shortfall in availability.
“We’d have never been able to pivot the business and go down this path if it were not for the government schemes and of course iwoca. Being able to invest this way helps our business, local businesses and the general public at a very difficult time.”