The FINANCIAL -- High street bank to take strategic minority stake in MarketInvoice
Barclays has announced that it is partnering with leading fintech business MarketInvoice, Europe’s largest online invoice financing platform, in a deal that is set to transform the way small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK manage cash flow and accelerate growth.
The bank has committed to a significant minority stake in the firm to give Barclays’ SME clients seamless access to innovative forms of finance. The new partnership is a key part of Barclays’ plans to invest in new business models for growth, and MarketInvoice’s ambition to broaden its reach across the UK.
Founded in 2011, MarketInvoice has funded invoices worth more than £2.7 billion, boosting cash flow for thousands of UK businesses. Barclays is the first high street bank to enter into a strategic partnership with MarketInvoice, giving their customer base access to the fintech's proprietary single invoice finance product as well as broader digital invoice finance facilities.
The terms of an invoice normally dictate a long payment period that can be up to 120 days, leaving businesses with a cash flow gap in the interim. With invoice financing, SMEs who sell goods or services to other businesses can upload or sync their invoices to MarketInvoice’s platform and sell them to investors, unlocking fast access to funding.
The proposition will be introduced to Barclays’ SME clients over the coming months in areas across the UK, including the East Midlands, West Midlands, Herts and North West London, with a full roll-out set to commence nationwide in 2019. Barclays also plans to fund invoices via the platform in the future, growing its asset base further.
Anil Stocker, MarketInvoice CEO, 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.
Ian Rand, CEO of Barclays Business Bank, said: "Invoice finance is a product that has come of age in the digital era, it’s efficient, effective and controllable for small businesses.
Barclays also recently launched £100,000 unsecured lending for SMEs, doubling its maximum for unsecured business loans from £50,000 to £100,000.
This increase adds to Barclays' already class-leading unsecured lending offering which allows qualifying SME clients to access pre-assessed affordable lending up to £25,000 on the go via their mobile and through online banking, often receiving the cash that same day.