London-based digital business banking platform Tide has today announced it will acquire a leading data-driven marketplace for business finance Funding Options, subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The acquisition will give Tide’s 475,000 customers – who represent more than 8% of the UK market share of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – access to more credit options. Over time, they will gain access to Funding Options’ panel of more than 120 lender partners.
Oliver Prill, CEO of Tide, said: “Easy access to funding is essential to support the growth of the UK’s small businesses, especially in these challenging times.”
Funding Options’ data-driven lending platform, Funding Cloud™, has “already disrupted the market with its efficiency, giving business owners real-time access to a competitive choice of funding options and near-instant credit decisions”. According to Funding Options, since 2013 it has helped companies access more than £680 million in “vital funding”.
Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options, said: “I am delighted to be joining forces with Tide to accelerate our joint ambitions to equip more entrepreneurs and business leaders with the tools and services they need at this critical time… As part of Tide, Funding Options’ growth will be supercharged as we connect more SMEs to the right finance first in the UK, then globally – helping businesses safeguard jobs, support their local communities and thrive rather than fight to survive.”
Cureton also says that the SME funding gap in the UK is estimated to be £56 billion, and “faster decision making, as well as fairer and broader distribution is key to tackling this”.
Funding Options will continue to operate as a separate brand within Tide. Tide’s existing credit intermediation business will be merged with Funding Options and will be led by Cureton, “bringing his expertise to help us [Tide] achieve our ambitious growth plans, both in the UK and beyond”.