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ING Invests £5m in Business Finance Supermarket Funding Options

ING Ventures, the fintech venture capital arm of Netherlands-based global bank ING, has taken a £5m minority stake in Funding Options, the online business finance supermarket.

Funding Options is by far the UK’s largest online marketplace for SME finance, linking lenders with businesses across the UK to provide well over £100m of vital funding to thousands of firms each year. The 50+ active finance providers on the Funding Options panel provide funding such as challenger bank loans, P2P lending, asset finance and leasing, and invoice finance, among numerous others.

Funding Options is also the major contributor to HM Treasury’s high-profile Bank Referral Scheme, in which SMEs that are turned down for bank lending are referred on to designated ‘matchmaking’ platforms for alternative finance.

Funding Options will use the capital from ING Ventures to continue its international expansion, as well as further developing its platform and growing its sales team. In June 2018, Funding Options announced its expansion into the Dutch SME finance market, in partnership with ING.

Conrad Ford, Founder of Funding Options (www.fundingoptions.com), says: “We’re thrilled that ING Ventures is going to power the next stage of our growth.”

“This investment is particularly important for the international expansion of our business. Our model has proven itself over the last five years in the UK – we are already the biggest online marketplace in Europe for business lending.”

“Many small businesses aren’t suitable for traditional bank lending but with Funding Options, banks can offer an ‘alternative yes’ instead of a straight ‘no’. New initiatives such as Open Banking offer further hope for the age-old problem of access to finance – enabling proactive, tailored support previously only available to larger firms – and we intend to lead the charge.”

“The thousands of small businesses that we finance each year in the UK is a small fraction of the millions of firms across Europe for whom access to finance is the biggest challenge, so we’re hugely excited about the opportunity before us.”

About Funding Options

Funding Options is the UK’s leading marketplace for business finance, helping small businesses walk tall by finding them the right funding for their situation. With a panel of more than 50 lenders, Funding Options is delivering tens of millions of pounds in vital finance to thousands of businesses every year.  

Funding Options is one of the winners in Nesta’s Open Up Challenge for Open Banking, and has been designated by HM Treasury for the bank referral scheme, to help UK SMEs find alternative finance when they’re unsuccessful with the major banks.

Funding Options is currently holder of Credit Strategy’s Commercial Finance Awards for Best Commercial Finance Broker.