Online funding comparison engine for SMEs

    Abbey+ is experimenting with an online marketplace for small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) looking for funding across the spectrum of lenders and funding types, from traditional bank loans and overdrafts to newer forms of finance such as crowd funding, fast business cash, invoice finance and merchant funding.
    Finance problems for SMEs
    • Most businesses looking to expand seek bank loans (63%) or overdrafts (33%)
    • On average, businesses seek £230k of funding
    • Businesses with higher turnover (above £100,000) were more likely to be successful in obtaining funding
    • 40% of SMEs apply for finance a week before needing it or after it is required
    • Around 50% of bank finance requests are rejected
    Comparison engine solution
    Businesses submit a single funding request in less than 10 minutes which is then validated and submitted to a panel of 35+ lenders who then make offers in a transparent, reverse auction. The process typically delivers a range of easy to compare offers. Businesses then choose the best available quote and close the deal. The process is similar to using one of the comparison sites for your car insurance. Funds can be delivered in days, rather than weeks or months.

    There is currently no other easy way for SMEs to request quotes and receive offers from multiple lenders and funders.
    • Enables SMEs to take control of sourcing funding by reaching a broad array of lenders with different underwriting models
    • Creates transparency of available funding options and terms for SMEs
    • Makes it easy for SMEs to source funding offers from ‘whole market’ 
    • Is completely free to use for the borrower
    • Lowers the costs of funding for SMEs by eliminating broker fees and ‘reverse bidding’ of lenders
    • Enables lenders to profitably serve SMEs by creating qualified and validated deal flow
    The comparison engine currently works in partnership with over 35 lenders including challenger banks (e.g. Metro Bank), established alternative finance providers (e.g. URICA) and peer-to-peer lenders (e.g. MarketInvoice).  It focuses on working capital needs and aims to mediate £1 billion in funding within five years.