Liberis Raises £70M for SME Finance

  • Investment
  • 22.12.2020 09:55 am

Liberis, a leading global embedded business finance platform, has secured £70m in financing from long-term partners British Business Investments, Paragon Bank, BCI Europe, as well as financing and venture debt from new partner Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). This brings Liberis’ total funds raised to £200m total, including over £50m in equity funding. The new funds will be used to fuel company growth, launch new products and markets, and provide additional customer financing solutions.

Liberis has provided over half a billion pounds (£500m) in financing to 16,000 SMEs across Europe, USA and UK, including £250m in the past two years alone. Founded in 2007, Liberis provides partners with financing solutions for their small business customers. 

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.”

Liberis' global partner network consists of marketplaces, software providers and acquirers, such as Worldpay from FIS and Global Payments. These partners integrate with Liberis to offer up to 1m SMEs personalised pre-approved revenue-based financing for up to £300,000. Payments are linked to a company’s transactions, enabling them to pay for the funds more comfortably, in line with income. 

In a recent survey of 200 Liberis customers, half were forced to shut down and 37 percent were most concerned with the loss of revenue and customers, with their biggest challenge being cash flow. Thirty-six percent said it was harder to get approved for funding from traditional lenders such as banks. In May, Liberis launched a new CBILS loan product, providing financial support to SMEs across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

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, comments: “At British Business Investments, 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, added: “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.”

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