MarketFinance raises £280m as it becomes Recovery Loan Scheme lender
Fintech business lender MarketFinance has secured £280 million of debt and equity funding, with the equity investment led by Black River Ventures, and has also been accredited by the British Business Bank as a lender under the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).
The debt financing was provided by an unnamed large global investment firm, alongside Italy’s largest bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, while existing investor Barclays Bank also participated in the equity financing.
The RLS, which was launched by the British Business Bank in April this year, supports access to finance for UK businesses as they emerge from the pandemic.
MarketFinance said it is ready to lend “immediately” through the scheme, with its debt and equity funding.
The lender was also accredited under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), through which it lent £250m to companies across the UK.
Effective immediately, businesses can apply for an RLS loan from MarketFinance of between £50,000 and £250,000, repayable over four, five or six years.
MarketFinance confirmed that any repayments in the first six months of the term will only consist of interest charges.
Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketFinance, said: “Businesses have been resilient and managed to hold their nerve during one of the most difficult periods in recent history. We were there to help with the CBILS and will do the same with the RLS by offering a simple application process, quick decisions and sending funds to businesses immediately.
“Our fundraise puts us in pole position to do this. We played a key role during CBILS, as one of the first fintech lenders to help get funds to businesses quickly when they found their applications were delayed and or denied by others.”
Stocker said that demand for RLS is likely to come from companies that will need capital to scale operations ahead of the full reopening of the economy, including manufacturers, wholesalers and public services businesses.
The lender also announced the launch of ‘Flex Loans’, a product designed to help around one million SMEs in the UK solve their short-term funding gaps up to £100,000.
Viola Credit has provided MarketFinance with £20 million to launch the Flex Loans product, which works by giving businesses a pre-agreed limit of up to £100,000 which they can withdraw at once or in smaller amounts. The product comes with flexible repayment options so that firms can spread their repayments over three to 12 months based on their working capital needs.