Iwoca closes £100m funding round to help it deliver CBILS loans to SMEs

By Aisling Finn on Monday 3 August 2020

Alternative Lending

The fintech is also opening applications up to new customers for the first time.

Iwoca closes £100m funding round to help it deliver CBILS loans to SMEs
Image source: Christoph Rieche (right)/iwoca

Alternative lender iwoca has raised £100m from an undisclosed investor, the company today revealed. 

The fintech, which became an accredited lender under the scheme last month, says that the cash will be used to help support businesses through the scheme and open applications to new customers for the first time. 

Under CBILS, SMEs can apply for loans between £50,001 and £5m, although iwoca only offers loans up to £300,000. 

The alternative lender was also one of the slowest to gain accreditation, after rumours swirled that iwoca was among the first to apply, but one of the last to get the seal of approval. 

According to AltFi’s sources, this could have been because the alternative lender didn’t want to announce its accreditation before it was fully ready to begin lending. 

iwoca's analysis of the HM Treasury data shows that the number of CBILS applications awaiting approval has increased every week, with a new business applying for a government-backed loan every three minutes in June and July. 

As well as announcing the fresh funding, iwoca is also calling on banks to partner with the alternative lender to help ease the backlog of applications. 

Christoph Rieche, CEO of iwoca said: “We want to give small businesses the best chance of finding the support they so clearly need, which means the banks must work with us.”  

“It’s not acceptable that thousands of the businesses applying for CBILS are left hanging for weeks or even months without getting a decision from their bank. As an industry we have a joint responsibility in supporting this effort so that SMEs can access finance fast to survive and thrive.” 

iwoca's plea for a collaboration between the UK’s largest banks and the fintech comes just a month before the CBILS programme is due to close.  

Last month the fintech also praised the “crucial” role of accountants in the CBILS process and developed a dedicated portal for its CBILS applications. 

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