A new FinTech platform from FSB launched in January aims to help further the success of the UK’s small business and self-employed communities amid the findings of latest research that confidence within the sector has fallen. Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) most recent Small Business Index Q4 shows only the second negative reading recorded in the last five years.
Access to finance is crucial to the small business sector which accounts for an annual turnover of £1.9 trillion a year – 51 per cent of all private sector turnover in the UK.
The FSB Funding Platform, developed by Finpoint, uses intelligent matching technology to match applicants with finance providers. A pilot of the platform for FSB members in three UK regions shows that the average amount of finance a small business applies for from an alternative finance provider is £39,000 – half the amount sought from banks - 'traditional finance'.
FSB’s Commercial and Operations Director Dave Stallon said: “We’re 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 advisers. It will transform the business funding market and is a real step change for small businesses.”
The contract for the FSB Funding Platform was awarded to Finpoint, a company founded in 2014 by Guy Bridge, Marcus Gruenwald and Rainer Plentl who shared similar passions and frustrations with regards to SME funding.
Finpoint Managing Director Guy Bridge explained: “We saw not enough transparency in the market, and we remain motivated by how we can use technology to provide an efficient service, but perhaps most importantly, we were keen on providing high quality customer service, which means any one of us may be on the phone when you call us up with a question about your funding needs. We quite like the label “FinTech”, because it is a mixture of Technology and Financial Services, with a heavy emphasis on “service.
“We’re thrilled to have been awarded the contract to provide FSB’s funding platform. As a small business ourselves – and a member of FSB – we get what’s needed, how small business would like to use the platform and we’re truly excited.”
FSB Funding Platform, powered by Finpoint, is regulated by the FCA and offers free access to over 100 lenders with AI technology matching entrepreneurs and businesses wanting funding with the best lenders for their circumstances. The platform also provides access to finance advisors.