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Small-business finance platform enters market

A new finance platform that allows small businesses to access equity, grants and loans has launched in Australia.

Swoop Finance Pty Ltd (Swoop), which first launched in the UK and Ireland in 2018, has formally opened its first international operations, with a new arm in Australia.

The digital marketplace is a matching platform that aims to assist start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SME) in accessing funding across equity, debt, loans and grants.

It seeks to find funding solutions for companies based on its stage of development and business sector. According to the fintech, it also helps SMEs identify savings and cut costs in areas such as banking, foreign exchange, insurance, utilities and broadband.

The platform uses a search algorithm to filter the data and provide businesses with financial resources, information and advice in a “single and integrated hub” for financial management and planning, which it said would eliminate the need to travel. 

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Former Ezifin Financial Services CEO Tim Brown (a former CEO of YBR/Vow Financial and a former chair of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia) was appointed as CEO of Swoop Australia in November 2020.

Mr Brown is responsible for the company’s growth in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Swoop said it currently has formed relationships with over 40 lenders in Australia, and is in the process of onboarding many more to add to its group of more than 1,000 international finance and savings providers.

The platform’s first Australian client is software company Cadence Software.

Commenting on the launch of Swoop in Australia, Mr Brown said that the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in significant appetite for growth in the Australian SME and start-up sector, particularly the manufacturing, building and construction, and technology companies (especially those servicing the financial services and government sectors).

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“It’s great to see that Australia is not only open for business but that business is keen to expand and innovate as we emerge from this pandemic,” Mr Brown said.

“However, start-ups with no security are the biggest challenge we are currently facing, as it’s almost impossible for them to access major bank funding unless there is property security involved. Start-ups and smaller businesses really need someone to help them identify and navigate the array of lenders and investors that will support them, which is where we come in.”

Founder and CEO of Swoop Andrea Reynolds said she created Swoop as she saw that matching SMEs with the appropriate investor groups is challenging, as is navigating the loan and grant applications process without the in-house capability or right external support.

Commenting further, she said: “For decades I’d helped countless SMEs raise finance throughout their journey, so I knew what they wanted more than anything was the ability to simplify and speed up the process they go through to access grants, loans and equity investment, as well as find savings they need to survive and build their businesses.”

“That is why I built Swoop – a platform-matching providers of finance and savings to SMEs in a hassle-free, time-saving way. SMEs can quickly see their funding options, as well as identify savings on expenditure such as utilities and foreign exchange.”

Swoop has assisted over 40,000 SMEs secure over GBP£300 million ($539.50 million) in funding and savings solutions through Swoop and its white label platforms since launching in Ireland and the UK, the fintech said.

[Related: Government to expand SME Loan scheme]

Small-business finance platform enters market
Small-business finance platform enters market
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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