By Oliver Smith on Monday 7 September 2020
A major new institutional backer for the lending platform.
MarketFinance is gearing up to extend up to £50m in additional Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans in the final months of the scheme.
It comes on the back of £50m in fresh institutional funding from a range of investors led by one of Israel’s largest asset managers, Viola Credit.
MarketFinance, which says institutional capital now accounts for 70 per cent of its lending, is hoping the funding will help it support a last-minute rush of SME applications for CBILS which closes for new applications at the end of September.
“Only 60,409 CBILS facilities have been approved since the pandemic started, versus 1.2m Bounce Back Loan approvals. This shows there are many businesses who could still benefit from accessing CBILS finance before the scheme ends,” said Anil Stocker, CEO at MarketFinance.
“For many who took a Bounce Back Loan, there is now a short window where they can refinance onto a larger CBILS facility which could see them over to the new year. Vast swathes of the UK SME community haven’t applied or remain unaware of the CBILS initiative and that it concludes in a few weeks.”
Stocker also announced a new MarketFinance initiative called the “unified application”, whereby businesses can file one application and see the range of finance options available to them, like business loans, revolving credit and invoice financing, as opposed to applying for each individually.
The lender says its automated decision engine means it can process instant decisions for around 45 per cent of its applications, with its algorithm assessing applicants under pre-Covid conditions in order to not overly bias its lending.
Stocker said since the launch of CBILS MarketFinance has been lending around £10m per month, with its overall lending speed increasing 40 per cent in the last six months.
“CBILS has only accelerated the pace at which we’re investing in our various products. The MarketFinance vision is to make finance available, easy-to-use and fairly priced to viable small businesses that need it most.”