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Right on the money: Revolutionising business lending

For the last decade, a lot of Irish SMEs have struggled to access the funds they need to succeed. As the financial crisis took hold, sources of credit dried up. Many Irish businesses found it next to impossible to access affordable finance.

This had a devastating effect on companies across the country.

Even now, as the economy has turned around, access to credit is still a key concern for Irish SMEs. While traditional sources of finance took a hiatus and largely stopped lending, the world underwent dramatic change.

Technology completely transformed the way we live. The way we shop, the way we work, the way we chat, keep in touch, watch TV, listen to music have all evolved in ways we couldn’t have imagined just 10 years ago.

The digital revolution has made so many things faster, easier and more efficient, bringing click-and-scroll ease to most areas of our life. Unfortunately, the area of business lending still lags behind.

For the most part, business lending still hasn’t caught up. Accessing business loans from traditional sources often still involves reams of paper, long waits, overly-detailed business plans and complicated cash flow projections. Business owners need to move quickly, seize opportunities and keep pace with the changing world around them. They can’t wait weeks for an answer.

In an age of digital technology and hyper-connectivity, this type of clunky, time-consuming process should be consigned to the past.

One silver lining that appeared during the dark days of the recession was the emergence of new players. As the banks and other financial institutions become reluctant to lend, innovative new operators entered the fray.

Companies that would be more at home in Silicon Valley than on Wall Street started reshaping areas like payments, foreign exchange, underwriting, compliance and, indeed, lending. FinTech, or Financial Technology, is an area that is booming around the globe. It is disrupting old financial models, bringing digital age efficiency to an industry that hasn’t changed in decades.

One of the most successful stories of the global FinTech phenomenon has been the rapid rise of P2P (peer-to-peer) lending.

P2P lending is a method of lending that matches borrowers with lenders, allowing them to enter lending arrangements without an intermediary. Peer-to-peer loans usually take place through online lending platforms; using technology to make the process faster, easier and more efficient than traditional methods of accessing credit.

In Ireland, Linked Finance is the largest, longest-running platform and they are leading the charge to make P2P lending a mainstay of the SME lending landscape while catapulting business loans into the digital age.

“The peer-to-peer lending sector in Ireland is going from strength to strength, and companies are realising that there is a viable alternative to the traditional banking sector that can offer quick decisions and attractive funding solutions,” says Niall Dorrian, CEO of Linked Finance.

How Linked Finance works
Established in 2013, Linked Finance has already provided more than €50 million in funding to SMEs across Ireland. Every year, more and more business owners are recognising the benefits of P2P lending.

In the same way Just Eat changed the way we order out, Netflix transformed the way we watch TV and AirBnb reshaped accommodation, Linked Finance is revolutionising the way Irish business owners access loans.

As with many game-changers, the underlying idea is simple.

Linked Finance uses technology to connect creditworthy Irish businesses who need loans with online lenders who are looking to invest. Business owners get the funds they need quickly, with minimum hassle and at a competitive rate. Lenders make a fair return on their money.

For businesses, the application process is easy, credit decisions are provided quickly, and funds can be accessed in a matter of days; not the weeks or months that have become the norm with traditional providers.

For Lisa Quinlan of Dublin’s iconic donut business, The Rolling Donut, it was this streamlined approach that made the process so positive.

“The ease of application, quick credit approval, and personable approach made the entire process an enjoyable one. A week after I applied I had the funds in my account,” she says.

At last, there is a proven, straightforward way for hard-working Irish business owners to access loans quickly and with minimum hassle. An ultra-efficient option that allows them to focus on what they do best – building the type of businesses that are the backbone of our economy.

How Linked Finance could work for you
In a few short years, Linked Finance has established itself as a ‘go-to’ finance solution for business owners across Ireland. Their game-changing approach is making the platform a popular choice for SMEs in every sector of the economy.

So, whether you’re looking to hire new staff, upgrade equipment, ramp up for new contracts, source additional stock or simply increase working capital, Linked Finance can help.

If you’ve been trading for more than two years and have a turnover in excess of €100k, this is your ticket to straightforward, easy, reliable business loans. Linked Finance takes the fuss out of finance, so you can focus on what’s most important: growing your business.
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