FOLK2FOLK facilitates loans to credit-worthy businesses seeking finance to grow, develop or diversify, funded by retail and institutional investors looking for a secured and inflation-beating return on their capital.
This collaboration will provide FOLK2FOLK with deeper pockets to help fund local and rural SMEs impacted by Covid-19.
The economic recovery following COVID-19 requires a strategic response with government loan schemes now recognising the systemic importance of non-bank lenders to urgently deploy capital to businesses in need. While the government schemes have become more flexible and inclusive, there are still many more opportunities to open up the marketplace for non-traditional lenders.
CrossLend is a Berlin-based, European digital debt marketplace platform which connects loan originators such as FOLK2FOLK and institutional investors. To improve the efficiency of transactions, its platform supports both originators and investors with different tools for data management, analytics and reporting.
FOLK2FOLK has recently been approved for accreditation for CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) by the British Business Bank. In this context, the partnership with CrossLend opens the door to institutional funding for the platform’s CBILS as well as non-CBILS loans.
CrossLend’s community of institutional investors will help broaden FOLK2FOLK’s reach and opens up the opportunity to deepen its investment pool as it looks beyond CBILS to widen its support for SMEs over the coming years.
Roy Warren, Managing Director of FOLK2FOLK, said: “Our ambition is to have a rich amalgam of investor streams with a healthy mix of both retail and Institutions. We’ve been steadily building our institutional relationships and our new partnership with CrossLend will expedite this further.
“We’re in the match-making business, so it made sense to use the same marketplace approach to introduce us to new institutional investors. CrossLend is a specialist at this and has a clear understanding of and respect for the FOLK2FOLK brand and business.”
Oliver Schimek, CEO & Founder of CrossLend said: “We’re excited to partner with FOLK2FOLK and see our collaboration as a real contribution to expanding the funding options of local UK SMEs, both in post-COVID-19 economic recovery and longer-term. As a key UK marketplace lender, FOLK2FOLK’s reputation and experience aligns well with CrossLend’s mission to broaden and standardise the possibilities of SME lending across Europe.”
FOLK2FOLK has facilitated in excess of £360 million in secured loans to start ups and SMEs across a variety of sectors, including retail, manufacturing, agriculture, alternative energy, leisure and tourism, hospitality and property development. To date, no investor – retail or institutional – has lost any capital (though past performance is not a reliable indicator of future trend.)