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Alternative lender Liberis gets £57.5m to support UK SMEs


Finance provider Liberis has secured £57.5m to support UK SMEs.

The debt investment was courtesy of the British Business Investments, Paragon Bank, BCI Finance, and equity funding was provided by Blenheim Chalcot.

This cash injection will accelerate Liberis’ growth so they can, in turn, support an estimated 100,000 UK jobs by 2020.

Rob Straathof, CEO of Liberis, said the company is bridging a gap that banks can’t fill: “Liberis provides a flexible lifeline to small businesses finding it increasingly difficult to draw on bank overdrafts.

“Our innovative product has proven particularly popular with retail and hospitality businesses where income fluctuates on a seasonal basis,” he added. 

Liberis provides between £1,000 and £500,000 in funding to small businesses based on their future credit and debit card sales.

Referred to as a ‘pay as you earn’ model, the funding is paid back via a pre-agreed percentage of the business’ daily income, which could be suited to seasonal businesses with fluctuations in its transactions.

According to Liberis, new lending to small businesses by banks has been decreasing since the final quarter of 2016. For every 10 retail and hospitality businesses who took out lending from a bank in the last quarter of 2017, Liberis lent to one additional business.

Straathof replied: “We’re incredibly proud to support hardworking business owners such as your local bakery to invest in a new oven, help the neighbourhood pub expand with a beer garden, or enable incremental stock purchase for an online retailer.

“We’re here to help the British high street thrive and remain independent,” he added.

The money will be used to continue the partnership with British Business Investments, Paragon Bank and BCI Finance. It will also allow Liberis to develop its products in the UK and internationally.

Since 2007, Liberis claims to have helped support over 7,000 small businesses and 35,000 jobs, and advanced £210m in funding in the UK.