Funding Options has expanded its data-driven platform for the SME finance sector with the launch of Funding Cloud: Insights, which provides market knowledge and intelligence to the small business lending industry.
Funding Cloud: Insights aims to bring ‘unparalleled data’ to SME lenders with market insight capable of driving new product innovation.
According to Funding Options, lenders often lack visibility on how they perform within the sector and how best to improve their offering, which puts them on the back foot. The new platform gives lenders a unique lens into the market with fast access to robust datasets, enriched by third party partner integrations and detailed supply and demand data depicting the trends and behaviours in the lending market.
Beyond this, it will reduce the time and costs associated with market research, creating vital efficiencies in terms of innovative product development.
Assisting SMEs in difficult times
Funding Options research, in partnership with global research house Censuswide, reveals that 88 per cent of 1,000 SMEs are looking for funding in 2022. With SMEs a key driver of both jobs and growth, their ability to secure funds as the economy worsens with rising costs and interest rates is clearly important.
FC:Insights gives users a more holistic view of the SME lending market through granular trend data, enabling them to understand their position relative to others, adapt product and pricing, inform commercial decisions, and identify new opportunities.
Ultimately, the platform is designed to empower lenders to understand the scale and demographics of both funded and unfunded businesses in order to make better lending decisions and close the funding gap.
Through Funding Cloud, the business is supporting SME finance through data analytics, open banking APIs and Artificial Intelligence, offering speed and certainty for SMEs while reducing friction for lenders creating a vastly more efficient market.
The business has reached a record of fewer than 20 seconds from loan application to credit approval. Prior to the launch of the Funding Cloud, this record was 11 minutes.
Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options comments: “Recent years have brought a multitude of challenges for SMEs and lenders alike, but we remain focused on our mission to help bridge the SME funding gap and provide businesses with the choice of finance options they need to trade, plan and grow with confidence.
“Following on from the successful launch of Funding Cloud last year, we wanted to deliver further market intelligence and granular trend data to our lender partners so they can evolve their lending proposition and make more accurate decisions about products. Driven by our award-winning technology and data stack, coupled with our market leading acquisition flow, we are transforming the SME finance landscape at a crucial time.”
Malcolm Leach, CTO of Funding Options adds: “FC:Insights was built to supercharge the vision of Funding Cloud, taking the legwork away from lenders so they can prioritise customer needs. During these tumultuous times, both lenders and business leaders need all the tools at their disposal to make faster, cost-effective decisions and manage vital processes more efficiently.
“We are already helping to remove the friction from the lending process through open banking, open accounting and credit referencing, but now we are offering lenders intuitive data visualisation to place them at the forefront of innovative product development. Over time, we will aim to scale this data rich marketplace further and improve it based on the feedback of our valued lender partners to enable the collective market to move faster than ever before.”