iwoca, one of Europe's largest small business lenders, is today announcing that it is more than doubling the maximum size of its core lending product, Flexi-Loan, allowing small business owners to access up to £500,000. The lender is evolving its most popular product, previously capped at £200,000, to meet the growing appetite for high value loans in the small business sector.
The decision to increase the loan cap follows iwoca seeing current and new customers applying for higher value loans through COVID-19 government loan schemes: the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).
In addition, the lender's most recent SME Expert Index , a quarterly survey of UK brokers, showed that demand for loans over £200,000 increased compared with last year, rising by 8 percentage points between Q2 2021 and Q1 2022.
The increased loan size allows iwoca to cater for the needs of more small businesses, offering them the opportunity to access finance which meets their individual needs, with some looking to invest for the future and others looking to manage their cash flow in the current challenging economic environment.
The Q1 2022 SME Expert Index found growing their business' was the most common loan purpose for small business (43%), followed by 'managing day to day cash flow' (31%) and 'bridging occasional cash flow gaps' (10%).
From today, small businesses will be able to borrow between £1,000 and £500,000, over a period of one day to two years with iwoca's flexible business loans. With a rapid application process, small businesses will be able to apply for a loan in just five minutes, with money landing in their bank account within 24 hours, in many cases.
Christoph Rieche, co-founder and CEO of iwoca, said: "All of our customers and partners tell us that they love the fast decisions we offer them; for amounts of £250,000 we make firm offers in less than a day. However, larger small and medium sized businesses also told us that our maximum loan amounts were too low for them to be relevant and therefore I am delighted that from today we'll be upping them to £500,000.
"With loans up to £500,000 we now cover an ever larger portion of the SME market. We serve the smallest micro-business that just got started all the way to established medium sized enterprises - regardless in which industry they operate. I am proud that we've already helped more than 70,000 businesses to access finance over the last 10 years, and we won't stop innovating to serve them better in the future."
iwoca was accredited to the Recovery Loan Scheme, having distributed nearly £400 million to small businesses through the Government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). In June 2020 the lender launched iwocaPay – an online buy now pay later invoice checkout to help small businesses get paid. iwoca is reaching 1.8 million businesses across the UK and Germany through its embedded lending technology, which allows businesses to access loans through a range of platforms such as accountancy software apps and digital neo-banks. The company has also recently launched free mental health support for all small businesses in the UK, in partnership with online therapy platform Spill.
Story submitted by Jamie Williams, Hanbury Strategy