Leading peer-to-peer business lender MarketInvoice today announces two major new milestones; celebrating the funding of £1bn worth of invoices through its platform and revealing details of a brand new local authority partnership with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
HELPING SMEs to the tune of £1BN
Since 2011, MarketInvoice has funded £1bn of invoices from high-growth UK SMEs – with half of this advanced in the past 14 months – a landmark that also represents the growing demand from small businesses for alternative lending products.
Since it was founded just over five years ago, thousands of companies have accessed funding across 20,000 transactions. Companies have been able to draw-down anywhere from £10,000 to £3 million against invoices, licences and contracts to fund their working capital. This funding has supported fast growing companies to launch new products, hire more staff, and export to new markets.
Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of MarketInvoice said: “This is a huge milestone for us as a funding platform and I look forward to turning MarketInvoice into a mainstream provider for business finance. Our whole team is proud to be supporting the back-bone of the British economy – businesses doing great work in media, technology, design, construction, manufacturing, education, and many more. This milestone is testament to the success of businessmen and women across the country.”
In response to growing demand from SMEs for alternative funding options, the business has also been working to secure further new investment from local authorities, ensuring funds reach small businesses in need at a local level. The latest of these partnerships with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership will see £2 million a year made available to businesses in Leeds City Region via the MarketInvoice platform – a service that allows businesses to release the funds tied up in invoices with long payment terms.
Chair of the LEP, Roger Marsh OBE said: “Maintaining cash-flow is vital to small and medium businesses. That is why the LEP is contributing to this platform, to help provide a solution for businesses facing a long wait for payment of their invoices. By quickly releasing finance that would otherwise be tied up in the short-term, business owners can keep up momentum with their activity and invest money back in the business where it is most needed.”
Business owners are able to upload outstanding invoices online, where they’re funded by investors including the LEP. When the invoice is paid, typically after 45 days, investors’ money is returned and is ready to be used again. The initial investment of £250,000 will be deployed on a continuous basis and will be earmarked exclusively for local businesses in a bid to drive a more consistent level of support for SMEs in the area.
The partnership marks the fourth government and local authority tie-in for MarketInvoice who also work with British Business Bank, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and West Oxfordshire District council. Through these, more than £106.7m in funding has been advanced to businesses in the catchment areas of local investment pools.
Anil Stocker, Chief Executive & Co-founder of MarketInvoice, comments: “The average payment cycle for invoices across the UK is currently 45 to 60 days, which is too long for many companies that want to grow and expand operations. As an entrepreneur, I understand how difficult it can be to pin down the finance solutions that will help ease the day-to-day demands of running a business so I believe it’s vital that solutions like ours are easier to find and use on a local level. It’s fantastic that the LEP feels the same.
“By helping local companies to get quicker access to the much-needed funds tied up in outstanding invoices, the LEP is able to invest directly into the local economy, boosting businesses and creating jobs across the district.”
Hugh Barker, MD at local Leeds business, iComply, has been a customer of MarketInvoice since March 2015. The business has accessed close to £750,000 in funding through the platform and currently employs 15 people locally. He comments; MarketInvoice are one of the new breed of financial institutions stepping smartly into the gap left by the banks in commercial lending. They’re tech savvy, smart, well organised – an absolute joy to deal with. They made the effort to understand the commercial processes of our sales cycle and really wanted our business.”
MarketInvoice is flexible, meaning firms can sell as many or as few invoices as they need. Once approved, businesses can draw-down on funds against invoices same-day. Costs are typically between one and three per cent of the value of the invoice. More than 40 Leeds-based businesses have already benefited from using the easy-to-access facility.