UK’s NatWest Introduces Intellectual Property-based Lending to Support “High Growth” Businesses

High growth businesses generally own few tangible assets, but can be rich in IP and intangible assets, according to an update shared by NatWest Group.

These businesses can find it difficult “to use their assets as collateral to secure growth funding, especially when compared with firms holding more conventional assets.”

This has led to a large growth funding gap “for fast-growing, asset light businesses which is estimated to be as much as £15 billion annually.”

In response, NatWest is evolving its high growth lending offer “to support eligible IP-rich businesses to unlock their full potential. While the bank will always initially assess loan applications to establish whether the customer meets the criteria for standard lending options, if the bank cannot meet a higneedsh growth business’ borrowing  through conventional security criteria, it will consider whether it could raise funding by using their qualifying IP assets as collateral.”

The bank will use valuations provided “by the specialist IP evaluation company Inngot to identify and evaluate relevant assets which could be taken as security for loans.”

The wider impact of scale-ups – defined “as businesses that grow at more than 20% per annum – is demonstrated by the latest report from the ScaleUp Institute.”

In 2023 there were 28,410 scale-ups which “generated a total turnover of £1.3 trillion for the economy and employed 2.6 million people.”

These firms have an outsized impact “on the economy, generating 58% of the turnover of all UK SMEs despite making up just 0.5% of the SME population2.”

Andy Gray, Managing Director of Commercial Mid-Market at NatWest Group, said:

“As the UK’s leading business bank, we are delighted to have joined forces with Inngot, to provide a truly innovative and progressive proposition for high growth SMEs and scale-up businesses. Many of these businesses struggle to access debt funding when they need it without having to dilute equity. This new offering will allow these firms to go further and faster in their growth journey.”

Martin Brassell, CEO of Inngot, said:

“With this new proposition, NatWest is recognising that IP is a vital component of value for growth companies that must be considered properly in lending decisions. Many entrepreneurs will welcome NatWest’s emphasis on a business’s intangibles, which have often gone ignored, rather than relying on personal or tangible assets. There is massive potential to transform the prospects of some of our most exciting firms by enabling them to leverage the things that really drive their success.”

Businesses that classify as ‘high growth’ need to show 20% year-on-year growth “in turnover over three consecutive years (minimum turnover £250,000) and/or a minimum £50,000 equity/grant investment in the last two years.”

As covered, NatWest Group is a relationship bank “for a digital world.”

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