Funding Circle Report Shows Demand for Alternative Financing
Funding Circle, together with Oxford Economics, released a report this week using data from its customers last year. Funding Circle is a business loan platform that matches small business borrowers with investors that want to lend. Some of these findings may be reflective of the broader alternative finance market.
Data from the report conveys that there is an increased appetite among small business merchants for online lending products. Of the small business customers surveyed, 70 percent did not attempt to get a bank loan before applying for an alternative loan from the Funding Circle platform. The main reason for this, cited by more than three-quarters of these customers, was a perception that the bank loan process would be too burdensome. Another nine percent skipped banks because they said they thought they would be rejected.
Of the businesses that had first approached a bank before seeking funding from Funding Circle, 50 percent said they didn’t obtain a bank loan because their application was rejected. Another 36 percent responded that the bank loan process took too long, and seven percent felt that the bank’s rates and fees were too high.
When asked about the impact of not receiving funding through Funding Circle (or we can imagine a different online funder), the most common response, given by 27 percent of respondents, was that they would have missed an opportunity. After this, 22 percent believed they would not be able to consolidate their debt and 16 percent thought that they would not have been able to achieve profit growth.
Loan volume in the U.S. rose significantly for Funding Circle last year. A total of $509 million in new loans were issued in the U.S. in 2017, an increase of 80 percent from $281 million issued the previous year.
“It has become evident that small businesses are underserved in every country we operate,” said Funding Circle co-founder and CEO Samir Desai. “From butchers and bakers, to IT consultants and accountants, these are the businesses that are creating jobs, boosting productivity and driving our economies forward. The economic impact that these businesses have had as a result of accessing finance through Funding Circle is hugely rewarding to see.”
Founded in 2010, Funding Circle has helped 40,000 small businesses find financing. The company operates in the U.S., U.K., Germany and the Netherlands.
Last modified: June 14, 2018
Todd Stone is a reporter for deBanked.