We have some amazing news! Today, the Marketfinance team and I are thrilled to announce that we’ve been awarded a £10 million grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF). The award, which was issued by Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR), will enable us to bring more choice of finance solutions to a broader range of businesses and, in doing so, create greater competition in the lending industry.

Up against some stiff competition from our peers in the alternative lending space, applying for the grant involved motivating how we would use it to better serve SMEs. Here’s a look at some of the key things that winning the £10 million will enable us to do:

Deliver flexible, frictionless funding all in one place

We know that customers find it hard to manage multiple products across multiple providers; it’s why many stay with the incumbent banks. We’ll deliver a solution that radically reduces the complexity of managing finances for our customers, combining the product sophistication of a large lender, with the user-friendliness of a fintech. UK businesses will be able to access multiple tailored lending products in one user-friendly dashboard with unparalleled flexibility and a frictionless experience.

Help the SMEs that need it most

Smaller SMEs (those that have less than 10 employees) and sole traders make up 90% of the market but are at the greatest borrowing disadvantage. Our risk models are much better at understanding and serving these businesses than those of conventional lenders. We’ll get £1b into the hands of these underserved SMEs in the next few years.

Be a catalyst for innovation

Ours is an ambitious vision and we know we can’t realise it alone. We’ll be reaching out to a broad spectrum of partners who share our drive to deliver these goals. Our partnerships with Ebury, Barclays and Xero are testament to this. They’re driven by teams of passionate and agile people who deeply care and want to make a difference. We look forward to joining forces with even more like-minded partners who are keen to join us in our mission.

Harness the power of diverse talent

MarketFinance’s success to date has been driven by the dynamism that comes with having a highly diverse and incredibly talented team. Throughout the next few years, we plan to create more than 200 jobs, hiring the best and brightest talent from across the UK to help us deliver on our commitments.

This is another huge milestone in the journey we’ve been on since 2011. Despite the complexities of recent months, I’m proud that we’ve been able to come to the aid of SMEs through our accreditation under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). And that the delivery of these government-backed funds have been accelerated through our strategic partnerships with Barclays and Ebury as well as backing from Santander and Viola Credit.

Having already funded £3 billion to UK businesses in invoice finance and loans, I’m excited for the opportunities this grant has given us to deliver more funding to an expanded range of SMEs through a tailored digital offering that allows them to get on with the day-to-day running of their businesses. With this grant and the dedication of the whole MarketFinance team and our partners, we’ll make finance accessible, easy-to-use and fairly priced for the small businesses that need it most. We can’t wait to get started.