Liberis raises £70m as it looks to support UK SMEs

Dec 2020

The funding is being provided from long-term partners – British Business Investments, BCI Europe and Paragon Bank and financing and venture debt from a new partner – Silicon Valley Bank.

Innovative SME finance provider, Liberis has announced that it secured £70M funding from long-term partners – British Business Investments, BCI Europe and Paragon Bank and financing and venture debt from a new partner – Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

Founded in 2007, Liberis provides flexible finance solutions for small businesses based on their revenues. The company is an approved lender under the UK government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS). Over the past 2 years, Liberis has provided fast, flexible funding of around £250m as an alternative to traditional financing sources.

The latest funding brings the total raised by Liberis to £200m, including more than £50m in equity funding. The company has indicated that it plans to use the cash injection to provide additional loans via its online platform, as SMEs look to manage fluctuating cash flow and adapt to the rapidly changing environment in the face of COVID-19.

Folake Shasanya, Head of EMEA Warehouse Financing, SVB said: “We are pleased to become a new funding partner to Liberis and have been impressed with their ability to embed financing solutions across technology platforms, payments providers and more. At SVB, supporting innovation is in our DNA and we are delighted to provide this global growth opportunity to Liberis through our Warehouse and Venture Debt products.

Judith Hartley, CEO, British Business Investments said “Our mission is to increase the overall supply and diversity of finance for smaller businesses across the UK. By supporting innovative lenders such as Liberis, we can continue to help smaller businesses access the finance they need to achieve their growth ambitions.”

Jamie Pickering, Director, Structured Lending, Paragon Bank said: “We are proud to support and partner with Liberis to support its technology and financing solutions that present real-world value for SMEs and marketplaces. The ability to rapidly access funds is key for SME survival in uncertain times and effective delivery of embedded finance is a much-needed piece of the puzzle.”

Liberis has witnessed a 40% year-on-year growth in the past two years. Its global network of partners consists of software providers, acquirers, and marketplaces such as Wordplay from FIS and Pa. These partners integrate with Liberis to provide personalised and pre-approved revenue-based financing to up to 1 million SMEs. The payments are linked to a company’s transaction and lets them pay for the funds comfortably with their income.

During the Covid-19 crisis-related survey conducted with 200 Liberis customers, half of them stated that they were forced to shut down. Also, 37% of them were not concerned about the losing customers and revenue as the major issue they faced is cash flow. Moreover, 36% said that it was tougher to get approved funding from traditional lenders including banks. As a result, Liberis launched a new loan product to provide the necessary financing SMEs all over the UK who are losing revenue due to COVID-19.

Rob Straathof, CEO of Liberis, commented: “Our significant growth in the past two years has highlighted the need in the market for SME support, especially during uncertain times. As an SME ourselves, we understand the plight and have survived an economic downturn. With uncertainty in the market, funding can be hard to access from more risk averse institutions. We are thrilled to have extra resources to help our partners support SMEs’ survival through COVID and beyond.”

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