UK-BASED finance marketplace Funding Options has officially launched in the Netherlands, four months after Dutch bank ING took a £5m stake in the firm.
In an agreement which mirrors the UK’s Bank Referral Scheme, Funding Options will be introduced to any small- and medium-sized business which does not qualify for finance through ING Bank. However, unlike the UK’s referral scheme, any business which cannot access traditional funding will be able to use Funding Options’ free service on the ING website.
“Too often small businesses will face the challenge of not being able to access funding from mainstream lenders, whether because they are too young, too small or simply because they don’t meet the banks’ criteria,” said Ryan Edwards-Pritchard, managing director of Funding Options. “But this problem is not limited to the UK – it is a global issue that needs to be solved.
“We’re very excited to launch in the Netherlands through this partnership with ING. This is a great example of the banks and fintechs working together for the benefit of customers. We look forward to supporting Dutch small businesses to access alternative funding and achieve their goals – just as we have already supported thousands of UK ones.”
There are approximately 1.8 million small- and medium-sized businesses in the Netherlands, according to research from Open Data.
Funding Options has already helped thousands of UK businesses receive funding worth more than £100m each year. It does this by matching businesses with its network of more than 50 alternative lenders, including peer-to-peer platforms such as JustUs and equity crowdfunding firm Crowdcube.
Loan values can range from £1,000 to £10m, while interest rates are variable and depend on the lender used and the credibility of the borrower.
Eugenie Casier has been appointed Funding Options’ head of Netherlands Operations, and will lead the Dutch roll-out of the platform.