1 TM the non-bank funders collaboration STOP worrying about where to find finance for your business. PREPARE to find out more about some of the UK s leading alternative funding providers. GO to alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk - a one-stop portal to help access funding for your business. It s really encouraging to see some of the leading providers getting together to raise awareness of their products by launching a new one-stop shop website. - CBI
2 Leading alternative non-bank funders launch SME finance portal alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk to support 250,000 SME rejected funding applications p.a. A unique collaboration between the UK s main alternative business funders, aims to make borrowing easier for the country s SMEs whilst aiding the main banks to support applicants they cannot fund. Seven of the country s major alternative funders have launched a web portal alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk - designed to signpost SMEs to the most appropriate source of non-bank funding, providing a short-cut to finance options that business owners may not be fully aware of. In addition, each organisation will recycle the applicants they are not able to help to the site, to access other potential non-bank funding sources. Collectively, Crowdcube, Funding Circle, MarketInvoice, Platform Black, Pensionledfunding.com, Seedrs and Zopa account for 85% of the alternative non-bank funding market* and have provided to-date more than 580m to SMEs, supporting around 80,000 jobs. The new alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk portal is just the starting point of a campaign to create a more collaborative environment for business funding, aimed at simplifying SME owners search for finance to help support their businesses, while providing a place for the major banks to redirect customers. This will be a much needed boost after the latest Bank of England figures showed a further drop of 0.3bn in small business lending in January this year. * Source: AltFinanceNews The latest SME Finance Monitor research shows that 45% of bank loan applications fail. The associated businesses behind the portal are intent on lobbying Government to meet the recommendations of the Breedon Report, which called for clearer signposting for unsuccessful bank applicants to find alternative funding sources. Based on the latest research this could result in more than 250,000 businesses per year being directed to the site. The idea of a collaborative approach to funding was floated at the recent Innovators in Finance Summit at 10 Downing Street. By providing alternatives such as equity crowdfunding, invoice financing, peer-to-peer lending and pension-led funding, most business funding options are met by the new portal, regardless of length of the finance period or whether it is based on share of equity or self-investment. Other alternative funders are set to join the portal after the initial launch. How it works Businesses seeking alternative finance answer a few simple questions online about their company funding requirements and are signposted to only those funding options that can meet the potential requirements of the business, using an at-a-glance red-amber-green traffic light system. Funders contact details are provided and a simple explanation of each funding option is also provided. The portal is not competitive, as there is no cost to funders who join it, and no personal contact details from the business owners are requested, so they can use the site in confidence as many times as they want.
3 Funders at a glance Category Launch date B2B lending to March 2014 Key contact Head offic / staff numbers Funding Circle Peer-to-peer Aug m James Meeking London /95 Zopa Peer-to-peer March 2005 (Sept 2013 for SME) pensionled funding.com ( 482m P2P) 193,000 P2B Giles Andrews London/50 Pension funding April m Adam Tavener Bristol/105 MarketInvoice Invoice trading Feb m Anil Stocker London/25 Platform Black Invoice trading July m Louise Beaumont Winchester/16 Seedrs Crowdcube Angels Den Equity crowdfunding Equity crowdfunding Equity angel funding July m Jeff Lyn London/18 Feb m Luke Lang Exeter/20 April m Bill Morrow London/20 Liberis Revenue Feb m Paul Mildenstein London/30 CDFA CDFI business loans National body m since 2004 Ben Hughes London/ 8
4 Peer-to-peer lending Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) is an online process that matches investors with savings or capital directly with borrowers looking for a loan, sidestepping the bank in the process. There are two types of P2P platforms - P2P consumer lending through companies like Zopa or P2P business lending through companies like Funding Circle. The various P2P lending platforms represent a very attractive proposition for investors, as the interest rates and returns on offer are much higher than from the banks. If you re a small business wishing to borrow via a P2P lender, you will have to submit financial records (i.e. accounts filed at Companies House, a business plan, etc.), details of existing debts and an in-depth explanation of how the loan would be put to use. Such checks are a mainstay of these platforms risk management strategy. Some smaller businesses, such as nonlimited companies, can take loans based on the business owners own credit records, but will also need to show at least two years of trading records. Advantages Borrowing via P2P lending is generally a far simpler and quicker process than borrowing from a bank borrowers access finance within days or weeks rather than months. All fees are clear and up-front and there are no restrictions for paying back the loan early. Businesses can borrow for a variety of reasons including working capital, expansion capital, asset finance and property finance. Companies that want to borrow 100,000 or less will typically be asked to provide personal guarantees from the directors as security, rather than a charge over the assets of the business or over your personal assets. Disadvantages Businesses wanting to borrow money will typically have to have their financial information published on the platform for investors to view. P2P lenders do have strict lending criteria, so you must ensure that you or your business have a good to excellent credit history to ensure acceptance of the loan. Businesses typically get access to finance within two weeks, so borrowers need to be prepared for the speed of the process in order to ensure they receive the money at the right time for them.
5 Equity Crowdfunding Crowdfunding democratises the process of raising money. There are three main types of crowdfunding: donation-based, rewards-based and equity-based. Equity crowdfunding is on the rise and is a terrific new alternative for early-stage businesses. Using sophisticated online platforms, ordinary people and experienced investors alike can support the projects they believe in by investing money in exchange for shares in the businesses. If you want to raise finance in this way you usually need to produce a video pitch giving backers something to sink their teeth into - write about your team, specify your business objectives and your plans for monetisation. You ll also outline the percentage of equity you are offering and amount of investment you need to raise. Each campaign is likely to be heavily screened to ensure it is fair, clear and not-misleading before going live to the public. Minimum investment through equity crowdfunding is generally very low and can be as little as 10. Platforms tend to operate an all-or-nothing policy. In other words, if your campaign falls short of its fundraising target after a set number of days, all the funding you had received would be returned to your backers. Equally, if you surpass your fundraising target, it is possible to then set a secondary target to satiate investor demand. Some platforms also have postinvestment tools that allow you to interact with investors after your investment. Advantages Equity crowdfunding is a very flexible alternative for businesses who aren t yet ready for angel investment or taking on bank loans. These platforms provide an opportunity for businesses with great potential to reach out to their existing community of users or partners to invite them to be a part of their success. It is also a powerful marketing tool to reach new audiences through social media and the press. Businesses can then grow with the support of their - often large - investor base. Many businesses that are successful at equity crowdfunding have attracted investors that can bring practical skills and expertise to the business, such as financial management and strategic marketing. Equity crowdfunding can give a business more value than money alone. Disadvantages By selling equity to the crowd, you may not receive the same value added in terms of expertise that might be gained from adding a few angel investors to your ranks. The crowd often provides great consumer and professional insight, but if you re looking for mentorship or specific industry experience, you may not receive that from the crowd. If you re going to pursue crowdfunding for equity, you need to put energy into the campaign to get the most from it, just as you would a traditional marketing campaign. Simply listing your pitch and letting it sit there means it s less likely to work, but the most successful platforms will be able to give you practical advice on how to promote your pitch effectively. Some platforms also give you tools to communicate with investors during and after funding.
6 Pension-led funding Pension-led funding uses directors personal, existing pensions to raise capital for their business. It provides funding without having to give a personal guarantee to a lender and can provide protection for business assets held within the pension scheme. Funds come from existing pensions and are repaid to the scheme with interest at a commercial rate. Typically this is achieved by the pension making a loan to, or purchasing an asset from, the business, with it subsequently making loan/ lease payments back. This methodology utilises value in commercially owned assets including intellectual property to secure these funds. All funding is repaid via loan payments over a fixed term or lease payments as agreed by the trustees and at an agreed commercial rate, providing a chance for real growth for the pension scheme. Advantages This is a really innovative form of funding. Advantages include provision of funding without having to give a personal guarantee to a lender, the potential for growth for the pension scheme and the use of intellectual property as an asset. It can be used in collaboration with banks and other funders and as you are using money from your own pension, rather than an outside investor, it helps you retain full control of your business. Disadvantages You need to have a personal/ combined pension of at least 50,000 and some future pension benefits may be at risk if repayments to the scheme are not made. It can take time to consolidate pensions for funding.
7 Invoice Trading Invoice trading is an online version of debt factoring that is much more flexible and faster for businesses to access. Your business can raise working capital by selling individual, unpaid invoices online to a network of investors. These investors advance you up to 90% of the invoice face value, in exchange for a small fee. It remains your responsibility to chase and retrieve the debt on behalf of the investors, who are repaid when the invoice is repaid by your customer. If investors do not receive payment-in-full at the predetermined repayment date, then it falls to you to reclaim the invoice, and refund them. As with most alternative finance models, the platform takes a small fee for matchmaking services, on top of what investors take. Advantages Invoice trading is a fantastic method of combating cash-flow issues, which so often cripple SMEs. You can gain fast access to the working capital you need and unlock finance not otherwise seen for up to 120 days. Sites like Platform Black and MarketInvoice are offering a superior level of flexibility to traditional forms of invoice finance. You can make use of the platforms as and when you like, choosing specific invoices and debtors to raise funding against. There are no requirements for personal guarantees or debentures. Your unpaid invoices are the only assets you need to access funding. Disadvantages You will usually only be able to sell commercial invoices from highly reputable businesses, as these are seen as a safer investment for financiers. So, the problem is not so much that invoice finance is a risky proposition for investors, but rather only a limited selection of businesses can seek capital in this way. If there is already a debenture or charge over your company s book debts as security on a past loan, you will need that lender s permission to trade the invoices against which you want to raise funding. This is possible in most cases but could slow the process down.
8 Business Cash Advance Business Cash Advances are a simple form of unsecured funding, where you can raise funds by 'selling' your future credit/ debit card sales. It's currently the only product in the UK directly linked to a business' income, as pay back is linked to credit/ debit card revenues. The product is designed to be hassle-free for small businesses, so there is minimal paperwork and no need for a business plan. Approval rates are higher than many other forms of finance, as companies which demonstrate card takings have funding provided on this basis. Popular uses of funds range from refurbishments and stock purchase to supporting cash-flow needs. Eligibility criteria is minimal, with businesses typically needing a merchant card terminal and to have been in business for anything from 4 months. Up to one month's business earnings are available, with amounts ranging from 2,000 to 350,000. Advantages Business Cash Advances are fast and flexible. Pay back is linked to card revenues, so it mirrors business performance (an agreed percentage of daily sales via their merchant terminal is agreed). Funds are unsecured, though personal guarantees may be requested. As pay back is linked to business revenues a perfect credit record is not required. Sole traders are welcome, as are those without two years filed accounts. Access is funds is quicker than many forms of traditional finance. Disadvantages You must have a merchant card terminal and accept credit card or debit payments. The product is designed for shortterm lending, typically under 12 months, and can often be part of a wider financing solution due to limits of advance amount available.
9 CDFI Business Loans CDFIs are local lenders that fund small businesses excluded from mainstream finance. They provide straightforward loans, generally unsecured, to support businesses at all stages of start up and growth. The CDFA is the national trade body for CDFIs, representing a network of 40 business lenders with local expertise that provide on the ground support as well as funding. Disadvantages Borrowing from a CDFI is likely to be more expensive than taking a bank loan. The interest and fees charged by CDFIs varies, but in 2013 the typical interest rate was 12% for an unsecured loan. CDFIs operate in all parts of the UK, but the amount of finance available and the terms and conditions vary with each CDFI and there may not be a CDFI operating in your area. CDFIs do not use a standard credit scoring approach and take time to get to know the business, its owners and funding proposition. They are therefore not usually able to process very urgent funding requests. However, once a CDFI has met with the business and received all the required information, an applicant should receive a decision on their loan within two weeks. In order for a CDFI to get to know you and your business, you will need to provide a detailed business plan, appropriate financial information and supporting documentation. This takes time and commitment, but most CDFIs will support businesses through this process. Advantages CDFIs can take higher risks than banks when it comes to making a loan, and so a poor credit history, lack of trading history or collateral are not barriers to accessing finance. They can do this because they consider applicants on an individual basis, taking a personal approach that is based on local knowledge, getting to know the business and the people that run them, rather than an automated credit scoring approach. CDFIs offer straightforward, easy to understand loans, with no hidden charges. Repayment profiles are designed to meet the needs of the business and funding requirements. Loans of less than 50,000 are typically available on an unsecured basis, whilst security is more likely to be required for larger loans. Sole traders, micro and small businesses can borrow for a variety of purposes, and amounts vary from 250 to 150,000. CDFIs offer bespoke support and advice to applicants. Many will help with business planning and mentoring. CDFI loans can be used alongside other finance including bank loans and other forms of alternative funding such as crowdfunding or pension-led funding.
10 Comparing different forms of SME funding Access funding Invoice Trading Peer-to-peer Angel Investment Crowd Funding Bank Loan Pension-led funding CDFI business loans Business Cash Advance Within 2 days Up to 12 weeks Investment Business Cash Advance Pension-led funding Invoice Trading Peer-to-peer CDFI business loans Bank Loan Crowd Funding Angel Investment Invest in your business Others invest in your business
11 Alternative Funding Market ALTERNATIVE BUSINESS FUNDING MARKET SHARE March 2014 Grand Total 724,225,548 SMEs seeking new/renewed loan facility Q3 12- Q4 13 Business online Funding Business offline/specialist business (requires face to face contact) SME Finance Monitor Peer-to-Peer Zopa 193,000 Rebuilding Society 4,394,019 Thincats 58,382,000 Assetz 17,202,495 Pension-led funding 210,550,002 42% got the funding they wanted Funding Knight 4,378,000 Funding Circle 231,582,680 Invoice Trading MarketInvoice 130,000,000 Total offline 286,134,497 Source 13% funded but not the terms they wanted Platform Black 41,586,832 Equity Crowdfunding Crowdcube 19,856,520 45% declined Seedrs 6,100,000 Total online 438,091,051
12 Client Case Study Nigel Roberts wanted to expand his website design business, but banks weren t willing to lend without tangible assets... Business Nigel Roberts and his partners founded Imaginet in 1995, working from a bedroom in Newport. The web solutions company now employs 22 people. Funding Needs Nigel found that as a software company that didn t make anything, or have tangible assets such as machinery, banks were reluctant to lend the money needed to help the business grow. An independent valuation of the company s registered trade mark was made. Within days a verbal indicative of 60,000 was given. A final value of 68,000 was agreed on the trade mark a few weeks later. This asset was then used as loan security. Result Nigel accessed funds from his pension with a SSAS, using the intellectual property from his business. He has since accessed the funds two further times. Going Foward Imaginet continues to expand and in 2013 won the Online Retail Award for Agency of the Year. Nigel s most recent use of pension-led funding enabled him to secure a 60,000 matchedfunding grant from the Welsh Assembly s Digital Development Fund. The money will be used to help the company adapt its services for use by mobile devices. This is a way of gaining ownership over your source of finance. Nigel Roberts, Imaginet
13 Business Client Case Study Client Case Study " Software company VectorCommand needed flexible working capital to aid their ambitious international expansion plans... The software solutions of Hampshire-based VectorCommand enable emergency services to share information efficiently across teams and Business As a software company, we don't have many assets to secure a bank loan against. In any case I prefer this solution to a loan. Using MarketInvoice costs less and is much more predictable. John Hunter, Managing Director, VectorCommand agencies during major crisis incidents. In the last 10 years it has taken on contracts as far away as Australia and the USA. The software solutions of Hampshire-based VectorCommand enable emergency services to share information efficiently across teams and agencies during major Funding crisis incidents. In the Needs last 10 years it has taken on contracts as far away as Australia and the USA. The company were looking to grow even further in 2014 and John Hunter, Managing Director, began exploring finance options. John Funding needs considered applying to his bank for a loan, but as is the case with many software companies, the assets against which traditional finance could The company were looking to grow even further in 2014 and John Hunter, Managing Director, began exploring finance options. John considered applying to his bank for a loan, but as is the case with many software companies, the assets against which traditional finance could be secured against was limited. A traditional factoring facility was another option, but VectorCommand was deemed unsuitable due to the nature of their endproduct. Additionally, signing up to a facility which required the company to sell all of its invoices wasn't the best solution. Result Since the company's customers are largely public sector they were immediately recognised as suitable to trade on the MarketInvoice plaform. After a simple application process, VectorCommand traded an 88,000 invoice in just minutes. Going forward be secured against was limited. A traditional factoring facility was Software company VectorCommand needed flexible working capital to aid their ambitious international expansion plans... The company is planning to use MarketInvoice again in the future as it looks to expand into new markets and continues R&D investment into its product portfolio. another option, but VectorCommand were deemed unsuitable due to the nature of their end product. Additionally, signing up to a facility which required the company to sell all of its invoices wasn t the best solution. " For more information please visit: Result Since the company s customers are largely public sector they were immediately recognised as suitable to trade on the MarketInvoice plaform. After a simple application process, VectorCommand traded an 88,000 invoice in just minutes. Going Foward The company is planning to use MarketInvoice again in the future as it looks to expand into new markets and continues R&D investment into its product portfolio. As a software company, we don t have many assets to secure a bank loan against. In any case I prefer this solution to a loan. Using MarketInvoice costs less and is much more predictable. John Hunter, Managing Director, VectorCommand
14 Client Case Study When the banks took away his company s finance facilities almost overnight, Jonathan Forbes-Brown turned to an alternative form of funding... Business Established in 1993, Braintree-based Imperial Waterproofing Systems installs new technology roofing systems to commercial and public buildings. Projects include Wembley Arena, Stevenage Bioscience and London s Bush House. It turns over 6 million a year and employs 50 people. Funding Needs Despite building a successful business, Jonathan Forbes-Brown says that in 2008 the two high street banks it held accounts with suddenly took away its facilities, including an overdraft of 250,000, without notification. Basically they considered the construction sector to be high risk, he explained. Jonathan decided to move his company s business to one of the new banks on the block, Metro Bank - which then introduced him to Platform Black. Result Imperial Waterproofing Systems has subsequently auctioned more than 1 million of invoices on the Platform Black site, helping the business grow three-fold in a year. Jonathan says the beauty of Platform Black is that you know what you are paying, with no hidden agenda. Going Foward Imperial Waterproofing Systems has redefined its business model to concentrate on profit. We look at the bottom line and we don t worry about turnover, said Jonathan. By using Platform Black the company is able to pay suppliers while waiting for invoices to be paid. Platform Black gives us access to instant money and, with its help, we have grown our business three-fold in a year. Jonathan Forbes-Brown, Managing Director, Imperial Waterproofing Systems
15 Business Client Case Study Client Case Study Satago is a platform where freelancers and small businesses can anonymously report how late (or early) their business customers pay Result them, versus agreed payment terms. Data is then collated to provide Thanks to Seedrs, Satago raised 30,000 payment behaviour reports about specific companies. Business Satago is a platform where freelancers and small business can anonymously report how late (or early) their business customers pay them, versus agreed payment terms. Data is then collated to Funding Needs provide 'payment behaviour' reports about specific companies. Satago provides crowdsourced data about the speed at which business customers pay their bills. Money was needed to help test and prove their business concept... Satago s founder, Steven Renwick, had a great idea, but as a nontechnical founder was unable to build the platform himself. Funding needs He needed investment to hire developers to build a minimum viable Since raising investment, Steven has product to test and prove the business concept. Satago's founder, Steven Renwick, had a great idea, but as a non-technical founder was unable to build the platform himself. He needed investment to hire developers to build a minimum viable product to test and prove the business concept. Satago provides crowdsourced data about the speed at which business customers pay their bills. Money was needed to help test and prove their business concept... for 14% equity in 15 days from 61 investors. The early-stage business was SEIS eligible. Going forward teamed up with a technical co-founder, developed and launched Satago and recently won Seedcamp - one of the world's leading business accelerator programmes. Learn more about Satago at satago.co.uk For more information please visit: Result Thanks to Seedrs, Satago raised 30,000 for 14% equity in 15 days from 61 investors. The early-stage business was SEIS eligible. Going Foward Since raising investment, Steven has teamed up with a technical cofounder, developed and launched Satago and recently won Seedcamp - one of the world s leading business accelerator programmes.
16 Client Case Study Carol Sullivan wanted to promote her divorce negotiation service, but needed an influx of money... Business Divorce Negotiator, founded by divorcee Carol Sullivan, helps couples looking to separate cut out the high legal fees of two sets of solicitors and works to create a financial settlement that is fair to both parties and most importantly will be acceptable to a Judge. Funding Needs Carol set up the business three years ago to try and help others through the trauma of divorce. The service was so successful she decided to grow the business by opening a franchise model across the UK and needed funding to finance a TV campaign. She found the banks unapproachable and turned to peer-to-peer lender Zopa for help. Result In October 2013 Carol received 15,000 from a peer-to-peer lender through Zopa. The amount is payable over 3 years at 6% and the money was in her account within 24 hours of application. Going Foward Divorce Negotiator now has seven offices across the UK and 120 franchisees use the service for clients across the country.
17 Client Case Study Gem Misa turned to Crowdcube to raise money for a marketing campaign and expansion plans for her salad dressing brands... Business Righteous, the all natural salad dressing brand was set up by ex- Unilever marketer Gem Misa in Funding Needs In 2012 Gem raised 75,000 to create a marketing campaign and nurture growth. At the end of 2013 Misa raised a further 150,000 to expand into overseas markets, including Canada via Costco and the USA via Whole Result The potential for this London-based business is huge, with the USA condiments market worth ten times that of the UK ( 11 billion). Going Foward Righteous products are now sold in over 600 supermarkets in the UK (Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, Boots, Sainsburys) and more than 500 in North America. Business turnover has grown by 1,260% in three years (from 122,500 in 2012). Foods distributor KEHE.
18 Client Case Study Matthew David Hairdressing Salon turned to Liberis when cash was needed to stabilise the business during the tricky first few months... Business Matthew David is a bespoke hairdressing salon based in London's Mayfair. Funding Needs Starting the salon from scratch in 2011, Matthew needed cash to stablise his business during the first few months. "As with any new business it takes time to build up your customers and establish yourself. I borrowed the cash to supplement my start-up costs and it was far easier than getting a loan from the bank," Matthew explains. "The best part was that it was simple to set up. Also, the fact that the money is deducted from your future card payments means there's no pressure to meet a fixed repayment amount each month." Result Matthew was so pleased with the Business Cash Advance system that he used it again when he wanted to invest in a product range to sell in the salon. Going Foward Matthew's business goes from strangth-to-strength: " I wanted to create a luxury five star salon service and to achieve that I've had to be willing to put money into the salon. There were no problems with the second advance."
19 Contact a SME finance funder Website Telephone Address Angels Den angelsden.com CDFA findingfinance.org.uk/abf/ Slingsby Place, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9AB Unit 5, Angel Gate, City Rd, London, EC1V 2PT Crowdcube crowdcube.com The Innovation Centre University of Exeter Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RN Funding Circle fundingcircle.com Dorset Rise, London, EC4Y 8EN MarketInvoice marketinvoice.com/ businesses th flr, High Holborn, London WC1V 6PX Pension-led funding pensionledfunding.com The Pavilions, Eden Park, Ham Green, Bristol, BS20 0DD Platform Black platformblack.com Winnall Valley Road, Winchester, Hants SO23 0LD Seedrs seedrs.com Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DQ Zopa zopa.com/borrowing/ business-loan Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1EN
20 the non-bank funders collaboration TM Follow Today saw the launch of an alternative business funding portal that 7 funding bodies put together and which will enable the redirection of customers... anything that redirects people who are turned down by one lender is an advance." Vince Cable Secretary of State for Businesss, Innovation & Skills Speaking at the AltiFi conference, 2014 Partner: The content provided is for general information only and does not constitute any form of advice. alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk is not, and does not purport to be, a full funding review. All materials copyright Clifton Asset Management Plc (no ). Registered address The Pavilions, Eden Park, Ham Green, Bristol BS20 0DD. Subsidiary companies include Clifton Consulting Ltd (no ) and Clifton Wealth Ltd (no ). Representatives of Clifton Compliance Services Ltd (no ) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
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