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Bridging the SME Funding Gap


February 1, 2024 | Cassidy Belville

Ten Companies Embracing Lending Innovation

SMEs remain the powerhouses of most economies, both global and regional. But it’s often still difficult for them to get the funding they need to thrive. How can we bridge the $5.2 trillion global funding gap for these deserving yet underserved businesses? And how can lenders expand into this high-demand market segment?

By embracing digital transformation and implementing intelligent risk decisioning, loan providers can ensure greater accuracy and agility when making lending decisions for SMEs. While there is still much untapped potential in the industry, more and more lenders are willing to embrace innovation, better serving the needs of SMEs without increasing their risk. Check out our list for some of the SME lenders leading the way. 

  • Fundbox: As an embedded working capital platform, Fundbox uses tech to help small businesses in the U.S. optimize cash flow. Featuring seamless application processes and credit decisions in as little as three minutes, funds can be available as quickly as the next business day.
  • OnDeck: With a 10 minute application process and funding in as little as 24 hours, OnDeck has delivered $15 Billion to small businesses in the United States, and offers the opportunity to build business credit history for SMEs across North America.  
  • Konfio: As one of Mexico’s preferred financial platforms, Konfio provides a fast alternative loan option for SMEs, including working capital credits, business cards, and payment terminals, all in one place. With fast decisioning based on electronic invoice data, they can typically fund loans within a one-day turnaround period.
  • Clearco: Canadian lender Clearco seamlessly integrates and analyzes revenue data and evaluates the health of the business directly from an SME’s store and/or bank account.  Instead of looking at past performance like many other lenders, Clearco uses fundamental business data to predict future success and generates funding capacity accordingly.
  • KLYM: With a mission to build a scalable credit system for SMEs in LATAM and South America,  KLYM uses data to deliver real-time financial services. Able to make funding decisions in minutes, KLYM automates much of their process through electronic invoice analysis and machine learning so they can offer agile solutions for growing businesses.  
  • Novicap: Novicap has developed an award-winning funding platform with a 100% online application process, and can deliver financing to SMEs in Europe within 48 hours. Offering invoice factoring, reverse factoring, and working capital loans, Novicap enables flexibility, automated onboarding, and profitability without risk. 
  • Prospa: Promising fast access to flexible funding solutions, Prospa features the ability to apply online in under 10 minutes, receive a same-day decision, and access to approved funds in less than 24 hours. As the number one online vendor to small businesses in Australia, Prospa offers business loans and accounts, evaluating the health of your business with a proprietary complex credit assessment tool that considers over 450 separate pieces of information. 
  • Validus: Aiming to drive SME financial inclusion and empower small businesses across Southeast Asia, Validus offers digital financing solutions for SMEs. The company leverages strategic supply chain partnerships, innovative tech, data, and AI to expand access to credit, with working capital loans, invoice financing and purchase order financing available. 
  • IFS Capital: As a regional online provider of commercial financing services for Southeast Asia, IFS Capital aims to ensure that all creditworthy SMEs have access to the capital they need to grow their business. The company offers a simplified online application process for property financing, term loans, working capital loans, and even assists with government-assisted programs for small businesses.
  • OakNorth: UK-based fintech OakNorth delivers instant credit analysis and real-time portfolio insights focused on transforming commercial lending. The co-founders of OakNorth were rejected for the credit needed to grow their business numerous times, prompting them to create their Credit Intelligence platform. Their goal was to build a robust, sustainable bank but also to create software that would enable other banks to lend to SMEs that were previously underserved.

Faster, More Agile Loan Approvals

SME lenders across the globe are trailblazing new, future-proof ways to serve SMEs and transform formerly clunky, complex application processes into streamlined, optimized ones. Utilizing innovative tech can enable you to automate credit decisioning to provide accurate, real-time approvals, allowing SMEs to gain access to funds quicker than ever before. By automating data collection, risk decisioning and pricing, lenders can enable faster approvals and ensure funding is in hand within a matter of only

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