Finance · 11 January 2018

FSB Funding Platform promises to transform small business lending market

Top view, businessman with spyglass on Stacks of gold coins. vector illustration, EPS 10.
FSB Funding Platform will use AI to connect borrowers with suitable lenders
A new funding platform has launchedwith a pledgeto transform finance opportunitiesfor small business owners, using AI to improve access and transparency for borrowers.

ThefSB Funding Platform, launched Wednesday 10 January by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), will use intelligent matching? to connectapplicantswith the most suitable finance provider, with a lending panel it claimswillmeet diverse needs.

The platform has been developed by fintech firm Finpoint, a non-bank lender, and will enable finance seekers to compare different options and negotiate directly with providers. No fees are paid until the transaction is completed.

Owners will input company information, how much they want to borrow and how the loan will be used into a single application, which is anonymously released to lenders. Borrowers are then able to navigate the platform as a loan comparison service and decide who they wish to speak to.

Read more: What does the future hold for crowdfunding?

A pilot of the platform in three UK regions found that the average amount a small business owner sought to borrow from an alternative finance provider was 39, 000 half the amount requested from traditional? high street lenders.

It also showed lending to be strongly asset-driven. Some 40 per cent of business owners seek alternative finance for equipment purchases, while the same number have looked for invoice finance to free up working capital.

The service will offer borrowers a range of finance options, from peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and asset finance to niche areas such as pension-led funding.

Commenting on the platform’s launch, Dave Stallon, FSB commercial and operations director, said it represented a real step change? for small businesses.

were so pleased to be able to offer this exciting platform to our member base. Although it’s harnessing the latest innovations in tech it offers a very simple way to access finance, as well as access to human financial advisors.

He added: It will transform the business funding market.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.