Barclays has announced plans to partner with MarketInvoice, in a move that will also see the banking giant taking a minority stake in the online business lender.
Established in 2011, MarketInvoice offers a variation on the invoice discounting theme by enabling businesses to borrow against their debtor books via an online platform connecting them to a community of investors. Since its launch, MarketInvoice has channelled funding to a value of £2.7bn.
Under the new partnership agreement, Barclays is to give its business customers “seamless access” to the the invoice trading service offered by MarketInvoice, starting with customers in the East Midlands, West Midlands, Herts and North West London. A full roll-out is scheduled for 2019. Customers will have access to MarketInvoice’s proprietary single invoice product, plus a range of other credit facilities.
For Barclays, the move will offer an additional service to customers while MarketInvoice will benefit from a greater reach into the business community.
Commenting on the deal, MarketInvoice co-founder Anil Stocker said: “It’s exciting to be combining the knowledge and footprint of a 325-year old British banking institution with MarketInvoice’s tech-led online finance solutions. Bringing this together in a strategic partnership can only mean good news for UK businesses, with the segment we’re targeting responsible for upwards of 60% of UK employment.
Barclays CEO, Ian Rand said the bank was responding to demand from SMEs for a lending solution that would help them address an increasingly pressing cashflow problem. “A number of our clients told us that they feel pressured into offering longer payment terms in order to stay competitive. This ties up their cash flow, preventing them from seizing growth opportunities.
Barclays has been stepping up its efforts to woo SME customers, in particular through the launch of a £100,000 unsecured lending facility.