Money&Co., the new person-to-business lending platform headed by the well-known City investor and business woman Nicola Horlick, launches tomorrow. The company will connect investors looking for a better rate of interest with businesses seeking finance.
Horlick first announced her intention to launch Money&Co. last year. The platform aims to improve access to finance for UK SMEs by allowing them to bypass high street banks and borrow from the public.
Money&Co. will enable a speedy turnaround for borrowers. All businesses looking to borrow can expect to see the lending auctions go online 72 hours after they first submit their application, after which the auction will be active for a maximum of 14 days. Companies will be able to borrow for up to five years for one arrangement fee, with no costly annual renewals.
Investment will be open to all lenders able to commit to a minimum of £100, who will then be able to invest a minimum of only £10 into a business of their choosing. Lenders will be able to select the kind of business they want to invest in, based on a number of factors such as geographic location, industry, risk assessment and credit rating.
Credit ratings determined by Money&Co.'s experienced team of credit analysts will be assigned to each approved business, and will help inexperienced investors select which business to lend to. Loan agreements will be kept to two pages and are written in straight-forward English.
Nicola Horlick, CEO of Money&Co, said: "Crowdfunding is growing very quickly and Money&Co. provides a great opportunity to offer both businesses and investors something they aren't getting right now: accessible finance at attractive interest rates.
"Access to finance continues to stifle growth. Small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, struggle to get their hands on much-needed funding. Our banks have taken too tight a hold of the country's purse strings, so much so that the economic recovery isn't happening as quickly as it could. Businesses like Money&Co. have the potential to change that.
"With Money&Co. I want to open up the alternative finance sector so that more people and businesses can bypass the banks."
Robin Wight, Chairman of Money&Co., said: "I have been involved in launching many superbrands in the UK, including Orange, and am thrilled to be launching another one. Money&Co. has the potential to become one of the biggest lending platforms. There's also a lot of political will behind the alternative finance sector, so there is no better time to launch Money&Co. With Nicola heading the business, I believe we are witnessing the birth of a superplatform."
Key features include:
• Minimum loan: £50,000
• Maximum loan: £3 million
• Minimum commitment for sign up to Money&Co.: £100
• Minimum bid: £10
• Expected bad debt rate: 1%
• Maximum length of auctions: 14 days
• Loan period 1-5 years