- UK fintechs Ebury and MarketFinance have teamed up to expedite the final stretch of CBILS lending.
- And the collaboration will be mutually beneficial amid increased UK neobank SMB focus.
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MarketFinance will provide government-backed funds to Ebury’s small- and medium-sized business (SMB) customers, as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) winds down at the end of this month, according to AltFi.
The government-backed scheme allows eligible SMBs to access loans of up to £150,000 ($191,500) and revolving credit facilities up to £5 million ($6.4 million) each. They have until the end of the month to apply and the British Business Bank extended the approval timeline for lenders by two months until November, and until December for larger facilities.
The partnership will benefit both fintechs, as it will provide Ebury with capital for its customers, while creating new acquisition opportunities for MarketFinance. Ebury will provide MarketFinance access to its SMB customer base, while MarketFinance will provide Ebury’s customers with vital business financing.
Earlier this week, MarketFinance secured £50 million ($63.8 million) to fund the last stage of its CBILS push, and securing Ebury as a strategic partner should expedite the distribution of these funds.
Going forward, we might see further partnerships among SMB lenders, as neobanks extend their SMB lending push. SMB lending has served as a profitable line of business for UK neobanks—such as OakNorth Bank—and it is likely other neobanks will pursue SMB lending in the near future. For example Starling, an accredited CBILS lender, and Revolut have focused on their SMB accounts and services and building out their SMB lending products might be a strategy they pursue to drive revenues.
Therefore, as neobanks grow their presence in the SMB lending space and the industry consolidates, it makes sense for SMB-focused fintechs to team up to face this growing threat.
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