Angus Dent, chief executive of ArchOver, explains how the platform is lending to the future…
ARCHOVER exists to be helpful, to provide debt funding to businesses in new and innovative ways. In the five years we’ve been actively facilitating borrowing our relevance to borrowers, to UK businesses, has evolved as the help we provide has become more relevant. We’ve continued to steer away from providing me too services, instead providing true alternative finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises, funding the gaps left by the banks and other more mainstream funders and many other peer-to-peer lenders. We continue searching for funding gaps and working on innovative ways to provide funding for companies suffering in those funding gaps.
We’ve always provided working capital for businesses; a fixed amount, for a fixed term, at a fixed rate of interest. Businesses thrive with certainty; certainty allows businesses to plan with confidence and helps them grow.
We view what we do as forming partnerships between our lenders and borrowers. Credit analysis sits at the core of what we do. We’re happy to secure loans on alternative assets, but only when we understand those assets and the business that owns them. The assets that work for us are those that are designed to convert into cash. Hence, we like sales invoices, contracted recurring revenue, contracted work in progress and monies due from HRMC – particularly research & development tax credits and grants – and we fund against all of these assets. Because this is business lending and because we take the time and trouble to understand the businesses we lend to, we don’t see the relevance of personal guarantees.
We believe that as a P2P lender we are more than a ‘dating agency’ matching lenders and borrowers. We’ve always believed it was for us to monitor the loans made over our platform and to manage recovery of lenders’ money when this proves necessary. The future is uncertain and we’re always lending to the future – ArchOver is there for the journey.
ArchOver’s directors and senior employees all come from business, as opposed to banking. We are the guys that ran the companies that the banks wouldn’t fund. We understand that pain.
ArchOver is a member of the 300-year-old Hampden Group. This is an established group with a business built on a longstanding exemplary reputation, with around £2bn of money under management in the Lloyd’s insurance market. Given this ownership it’s no surprise that we’ve never been placed under pressure to write suspect business to meet short-term revenue targets. P2P business lending, and lending generally, isn’t about the short term.
As you would expect, ArchOver is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.