ING VENTURES, the fintech venture capital arm of Netherlands bank ING, has bought a minority stake in Funding Options for £5m.
Funding Options is an online marketplace for business finance, linking UK businesses with over 50 finance providers including peer-to-peer lenders. It is also one of four approved finance aggregators chosen to take part in the Treasury’s bank referral scheme, where rejected bank borrowers are referred on to platforms for alternative finance.
The firm said it will use the capital from ING Ventures to continue its international expansion, develop its platform and grow its sales team.
“We’re thrilled that ING Ventures is going to power the next stage of our growth,” said Conrad Ford, founder of Funding Options.
“This investment is particularly important for the international expansion of our business. Our model has proven itself over the last five years in the UK – we are already the biggest online marketplace in Europe for business lending.
“The thousands of small businesses that we finance each year in the UK is a small fraction of the millions of firms across Europe for whom access to finance is the biggest challenge, so we’re hugely excited about the opportunity before us.”
Funding Options has already worked with ING in another capacity. In June 2018, it announced it was expanding its platform into the Dutch SME finance market, in partnership with ING.