Introducing Business Finance Market’s New Capital Raise
I am delighted to today officially launch Business Finance Market’s latest EIS-eligible opportunity.
With the full details of the opportunity available here, Business Finance Market - who will soon be trading as Finance Nation, their go-to-market brand - are raising £2m to allow them to build on the traction they have achieved to date.
Developing a data-rich fintech platform to stimulate the market for SME lending, the company is built on the understanding that it has never been as difficult for SMEs to access finance as it is today. There is an anticipated £22 billion funding gap for the 5.9m SMEs in the UK, who today receive just 4% of bank lending and who have seen a 3% decrease in lending in the last three years - compared to a 43% increase in lending to their larger counterparts.
Banks have drastically reduced their front line staff and today, 50% of lending applications are originated from 2,000 commercial finance brokers. This has meant the market has become even more intermediated, leading to slower processing times and increased SME frustration - and these issues have only been exacerbated due to Covid, and are anticipated to worsen further.
Whilst SMEs are the focus of the solution, multiple stakeholders are set to be positively impacted by the platform, including the Bank of England, as the solution underpins their objectives including its response to the Van Steenis review ‘Future of Finance’. Furthermore, the platform has an innovative revenue model that positively benefits lenders, brokers and SMEs in comparison to the current market standard. You can gain an insight into the revenue model here.
Founded by Craig Iley, who previously co-founded two digital banks in Atom Bank and Bank North, an industry experienced team has been assembled over the last 15 months and it has been a pleasure to support the team since their first overfunded seed round in 2021.
They have achieved some notable traction since inception (details are available on pages 8 and 9 of the Investment Memorandum, which is available after logging into the GCV platform), including receiving FCA authorisation as a credit broker and seeing considerable progress with their platform, working closely with industry-leader Answer Digital.
Now raising their next round of capital to build on this traction and further their growth as they take the platform to market, the feedback to date has been very positive and the coming months are an exciting time in the Business Finance Market journey.
An EIS-eligible opportunity, investors have the ability to access a variety of generous tax reliefs (dependent on individual tax circumstances), including 30% income tax relief on the value of their investment and seeing any gains realised free of capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance tax.
Already over 88% funded at the point of writing this and publicly launching the opportunity, you can explore the details of this opportunity in full here.