By Guglielmo de Stefano on Wednesday 27 January 2016
Estonian invoicing financing platform Investly targets UK SMEs following a €600,000 investment round.
Tallin-based invoice finance platform Investly has announced its launch in the UK, offering British small and medium enterprises an alternative way to funding their invoices. According to the platform, the announcement follows on from a €600,000 investment from venture capital group SpeedInvest, an early stage seed and Series A fund based in Vienna.
Founded in 2014 in Estonia, Investly helps businesses to source working capital from investors globally. Invoices on the platform are funded through a reverse-auction mechanism, designed to drive down borrower interest rates. Auctions usually last between 1-5 days and investors bid against each other for participation in each invoice.
“Building on the launch in Estonia, we have ambitious expansion plans with preparations under way to enter new markets, with the UK to follow later in the year”, he argued.
The new invoice finance product will be available to any UK SME that passes the platform’s sign-up criteria, which includes all the usual credit checks, director checks and personal guarantees.
Ruth Chamberlain, Investly’s UK Country Manager, commented:
“Long payment terms are crippling for UK SMEs. They are dependent on cash to sustain and grow their business, but as they invest in products and people, they may not get money on work completed a month or even 120 days after issuing their invoice. […] Investly brings together investors with growing SMEs in need of vital capital. Our concept, expertise and technology allow businesses to be the best they can be by making the invoice finance process as simple as it has ever been.”
As part of the UK launch, Investly is offering the first 20 accepted companies to sell an invoice worth up to £5000 discount free. On the investor side, for the time being at least, the platform will target mainly by institutional investors and high net worth individuals. Over time and as its full FCA authorisation is approved, retail investors are expected to enter the fray as well.
It’s interesting to note that European platforms are often drawn to the UK because the conditions over here are far more supportive of financial innovation, as Ryan Weeks once explained. However, it’s also a much more competitive market. Time will tell whether Investly’s foray into the UK space bears fruit.