London, 06.09.2022: Funding Options, the leading marketplace for business finance, has launched Funding Cloud: Insights to bring unparalleled data to SME lenders with a breadth of market insight capable of driving new product innovation. The intuitive and user-friendly platform provides near real-time knowledge and intelligence that has scarcely been available before in a highly fragmented and competitive marketplace.
Lenders often lack visibility on how they perform within the sector and how best to improve their offering, which puts them on the back foot. FC:Insights gives lenders a unique lens into the market with fast access to robust datasets, enriched by third party partner integrations and detailed supply and demand data depicting the trends and behaviours in the lending market. Beyond this, it will reduce the time and costs associated with market research, creating vital efficiencies in terms of innovative product development.
According to Funding Options’ research, in partnership with global research house Censuswide, 88% of the 1,000 SMEs surveyed said that they were looking for funding in 2022. With SMEs a key driver of both jobs and growth, their ability to secure funds as the economy worsens with rising costs and interest rates will be crucial.
To keep up with the ever-changing borrowing requirements of SMEs and to facilitate vital funding, lenders require access to innovative technologies and data-driven insights. FC:Insights gives users a more holistic view of the SME lending market through granular trend data, enabling them to understand their position relative to others, adapt product and pricing, inform commercial decisions, and identify new opportunities. Ultimately, the platform will empower lenders to understand the scale and demographics of both funded and unfunded businesses in order to make better lending decisions and close the funding gap.
FC:Insights is the latest in a long line of technological milestones for Funding Options, with lenders benefiting from the ability to embed their financial solutions onto the platform. Through Funding Cloud(™), the business is already transforming SME finance through data analytics, open banking APIs and Artificial Intelligence, offering speed and certainty for SMEs while reducing friction for lenders creating a vastly more efficient market. The business has reached a record of fewer than 20 seconds from loan application to credit approval. Prior to the launch of the Funding Cloud(™), this record was 11 minutes.
Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options comments, “Recent years have brought a multitude of challenges for SMEs and lenders alike, but we remain focused on our mission to help bridge the SME funding gap and provide businesses with the choice of finance options they need to trade, plan and grow with confidence. Following on from the successful launch of Funding Cloud(™) last year, we wanted to deliver further market intelligence and granular trend data to our lender partners so they can evolve their lending proposition and make more accurate decisions about products. Driven by our award-winning technology and data stack, coupled with our market leading acquisition flow, we are transforming the SME finance landscape at a crucial time.”
Malcolm Leach, CTO of Funding Options adds, “FC:Insights was built to supercharge the vision of Funding Cloud(™), taking the legwork away from lenders so they can prioritise customer needs. During these tumultuous times, both lenders and business leaders need all the tools at their disposal to make faster, cost-effective decisions and manage vital processes more efficiently. We are already helping to remove the friction from the lending process through open banking, open accounting and credit referencing, but now we are offering lenders intuitive data visualisation to place them at the forefront of innovative product development. Over time, we will aim to scale this data rich marketplace further and improve it based on the feedback of our valued lender partners to enable the collective market to move faster than ever before.”
About Funding Options
Funding Options is a leading data-driven marketplace for business finance, helping SMEs get the right funding in place so they can trade, plan and grow with confidence. Working with more than 120 lender partners offering the broadest range of finance options available, they’ve helped more than 11,600 businesses across the UK and Netherlands securing over £600m in funding.
In a highly fragmented SME lending ecosystem, Funding Options is fast becoming the de facto marketplace for business finance, connecting businesses, lenders and partners in a frictionless digital journey. Funding Options sees over £1bn of demand for business finance from SMEs every month and last year alone facilitated £140 million of funding for more than 1,600 customers.
As well as employing a dedicated team of experienced Business Finance Specialists, the company is transforming the way SMEs access finance through Funding Cloud™, the first fully integrated and real-time lending platform. It uses data analytics, open banking APIs and Artificial Intelligence to auto-decision the approval of loans, meaning borrowers’ needs are matched to the most suitable lenders and access to funding is possible within minutes.
Through Funding Cloud(™) loan application to credit approval has taken just 20 seconds, with the record for application to funds in an SME’s bank account just 18 minutes.
Recognised as a fast-growth scaleup, Funding Options has twice been named in the top half of the FT 1000, the annual list of Europe’s fastest growing companies, Lendtech of the year in the UK Fintech Awards 2021 and is part of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK’s (SVC2UK) 2020 Scale Up Club cohort, a prestigious annual list of fast-growth UK technology companies destined for great things.