MarketFinance is actively hiring into its product team and I wanted to give the context of why we’re so excited to be building at the moment. Having worked hard during the pandemic to help many businesses navigate the turmoil, it’s now the right moment to take a step back and think about where our world is going.
There’s nothing worse than friction preventing you from getting things done. Unfortunately, financial services in 2021 are still full of friction. There is too much admin involved in getting a mortgage, setting up a bank account, moving money across borders, getting a bank loan, or raising equity for your start-up. Manual forms, documentation, risk committees, KYC checks, back-and-forth via email: this all gets in the way of businesses that want to focus on building and creating value.
We started MarketInvoice back in 2011 to help businesses with a particular problem: they were waiting for invoices to be paid and needed cash on hand to meet monthly payroll, pay suppliers or cover lumpy tax bills. This is the type of problem that keeps business people up at night, drains their energy and ultimately sinks viable and profitable companies. Our aim was to remove this friction of waiting for your invoice to be paid, so entrepreneurs could get ahead.
Since then, we’ve realised that pre-funding invoices is just one small part of the problem. Every business has to worry about their monthly incomings and outgoings. This is the careful balancing act between bills such as payroll, rent, taxes and suppliers, and incoming revenue from invoices, credit cards, app stores and online check-outs. Not every company has an invoice to finance, which is why we’re evolving our working capital product set to include flex loans and investigating other forms of card and revenue-based finance, as well as “pay-later” features to help more businesses get the cash they need to solve this headache.
In parallel, many businesses are in growth and investment mode, they need longer-duration capital to help finance equipment, hire technical and commercial talent, and invest in marketing. Much of this investment will only pay-off over a number of years which is why companies need access to products like asset finance, term loans, leasing and equity funding. Our Business Loans product was our entry point to solve this problem, and during Covid we saw a huge number of applications for our CBILS Business Loans offering as businesses needed capital to pivot and adjust to the new post lock-down normal. We’re now close to launching a new loans product that will have useful features for businesses looking to get growth back again coming out of the pandemic.
Covid shifted demand for most finance products online and accelerated the digital adoption trend by many years. People who run businesses from home are expecting the same frictionless experience in accessing finance as they do their shopping, streaming and social communications. Additionally, they want apps to nudge them to the right product for their problem, help them refinance at cheaper rates when the time is right, and manage multiple financial products under one roof. MarketFinance is one of the first fintechs to offer multiple products across invoice finance and loans all from a single application form and portal. We’re looking forward to integrating automated working capital advice on top of these products over the coming years.
Distribution of these financial products is also in the midst of a big change. Whereas in the past, businesses would apply to one of 4-5 high street banks to gain access to credit, the current trend is for lending to be embedded within the journey of the job customers are looking to fulfil. Looking at your cash flow in your accounting or your banking app - why not see a button offering you ways to finance the gap. Buying inventory online from a supplier? Why not embed financing options at checkout to buy-now-pay-later? Klarna and AfterPay have shown the way forward for consumer purchases, and like always business adoption will follow suit.
Here at MarketFinance we’ve started on this journey by striking partnerships with banks, accountancy software platforms and fellow fintechs to offer lending solutions within their platforms. Building more embedded lending solutions and in-app decisioning with our partners is a big priority for us. We’re also doubling down on tooling for accountants and introducers to seamlessly integrate and refer businesses looking for finance as this is still a meaningful channel for discovery.
Where will the liquidity come to finance these new ways to borrow? The past year has also seen a huge creation in the money supply and the rapid emergence of crypto-currencies and blockchain applications. Not only do banks and asset managers hold vast amounts of currency that needs to be deployed in a time of higher inflation, there are sizable crypto investors who are now on the lookout for ways to earn yields on their holdings without having to sell their digital currencies or protocol tokens. Platforms like MarketFinance are well positioned to generate stable returns for both traditional and crypto liquidity . This could ultimately hold the key to more businesses accessing digital currencies and using them to settle payments locally and internationally with various counter-parties.
Even though MarketFinance has been around for nearly a decade, our vision of making frictionless finance available, easy to use and fairly priced to viable small businesses that need it most has never been more relevant. Our track record in solving invoice cash flow problems for small businesses now sets us up well to address more holistic financial solutions for many more entrepreneurs struggling with the financial friction that holds them back.
If you’re excited and passionate about anything discussed above, come and talk to us about our mission and what you can bring. We’re looking to accelerate our product development and I hope you can help make an impact with us!
See our open roles here or drop me an email on email@example.com.