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Paragon Bank loan to help Liberis growth and support 100,000 jobs

Leading small business finance provider Liberis has secured £57.5m in combined funding from British Business Investments, Paragon Bank, BCI Finance, and Blenheim Chalcot.

This new facility and equity investment will accelerate Liberis’ growth to help support an estimated 100,000 UK jobs by 2020, providing huge social and economic benefit to the UK economy.

Building on its ongoing partnership with British Business Investments – the commercial arm of the British Business Bank – to fund small UK businesses, Liberis has entered new financing facilities with British Business Investments and Paragon Bank, as well as BCI Finance with whom they have extended terms on their mezzanine line.

In addition, the London-based alternative finance provider has also received incremental equity funding from the UK's leading digital venture builder Blenheim Chalcot, which has nearly 20 years’ experience of building technology-based companies and a specialism in financial services.

This investment will enable Liberis, the UK’s first provider of the innovative business cash advance, to expand its product offering both in the UK and internationally.

Liberis provides funding from £1,000 to £500,000 to small businesses based on their future credit and debit card sales. The funding is paid back via a pre-agreed percentage of the business’ digital transactions, which means it’s especially suited to seasonal businesses as repayments are made in line with their daily income.

Structured Lending Team - Jamie Pickering, Adam Daniels, Lewis Fitzsimons.

Rob Straathof, CEO of Liberis, said:

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy yet many still struggle to get much needed financial support from traditional providers. At Liberis, we’re on a mission to fund small businesses to help them achieve their ambitions. We’re incredibly proud to support hardworking business owners such as your local bakery to invest in a new oven, help the neighbourhood pub expand with a beer garden, or enable incremental stock purchase for an online retailer. We’re here to help the British high street thrive and remain independent.

Liberis provides a flexible lifeline to small businesses find it increasingly difficult to draw on bank overdrafts. Our innovative product has proven particularly popular with retail and hospitality businesses where income fluctuates on a seasonal basis. New lending to small businesses by banks has been decreasing since Q4 16 and Liberis jumps into the void with our ‘pay as you earn’ funding solution. In Q4 17, for every ten retail and hospitality businesses who took out lending from a bank, Liberis lent to one additional business. We want to become the first choice for small business finance by offering a simple and responsible option.

Adam Daniels, Managing Director of Structured Lending at Paragon Bank, said:

We are delighted to partner with Liberis on what is our first transaction for our newly established team. Small businesses are a key part of the UK economy and are vital to the country’s job creation and economic growth. We are thrilled to partner with Liberis, helping it achieve its mission to support UK small businesses.

To date, Liberis has helped over 7,000 small businesses, advanced £210m in funding and supported over 35,000 jobs in the UK. Liberis has also entered a new venture with Newable Business Finance, a designated Responsible Finance Provider. Newable Business Finance provides business loans over two to five years to enable longer term capital for its customers. Moving forward, the company aims to further empower small businesses, broadening customer reach through strategic partnerships and international expansion.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Investments, said:

A big part of our role is to increase the overall supply and diversity of finance – both product and provider – on offer to UK smaller businesses. We welcome Liberis’ innovative approach and look forward to more of our funding reaching companies through this alternative to traditional finance.

Sam Kemp, Managing Director of BCI said:

We have backed Liberis for a number of years and have been delighted to help them efficiently scale their lending book. We now look forward to continuing to support the business through this next chapter of growth, alongside the British Business Bank and Paragon, as they continue to make a real impact for SMEs seeking to access funding.

Mark Onyett, Managing Partner at Blenheim Chalcot, said:

We are very pleased to be helping Liberis accelerate its plans to provide much needed finance to small UK businesses, and look forward to seeing the business expand its footprint supporting small businesses across the UK and internationally.

11 April 2018