Growth Capital Ventures has led a £1.3 million seed investment round into Business Finance Market (BFM), a fintech platform set to boost access to finance for the country’s 5.9 million small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs). The funds will be used to drive the development of BFM’s technology forward and further enhance the team. This round, which saw pledges exceed the initial target of £1 million, is further to a seed round of £225,000 in June 2021.
Almost 90 percent of SME loan applications does not get completed or granted due to poor processes. This new technology aims will allow SMEs to access quicker finance decisions while providing lenders and intermediaries with a fintech platform that will help to manage the end-to-end application process and increase deal flow in order to deliver faster credit decisions.
Craig Peterson, co-founder and chief operating officer of Growth Capital Ventures, said: “Banking for the SME lending market is notoriously complex, outdated and unsupportive of the needs of the organisations that account for three fifths of employment and 50 percent of revenue in the private sector.
“Once developed, this platform will make it easier for SMEs and their trusted advisors to access finance quicker and easier. It will allow businesses to deal with multiple providers at the click of a button. This is an attractive proposition not just for SMEs but banks, commercial brokers, UK plc and the Bank of England.”
Craig Iley, BFM's founder and chief executive said: “SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy but are gradually being excluded from mainstream banking. In 1988 around 40 percent of all bank lending went to SMEs. Today that is closer to 4 percent with an estimated £22 billion funding gap to around six million UK SMEs.
“Expectations among SMEs are increasing with a demand for more focused lending products, faster credit decisions, improved funding chances and flexible options regarding collateral requirements. We are reengineering the entire journey, to reduce friction for all stakeholder groups and ensure better customer outcomes along with benefits to investors."