Who will aggregate the aggregators?
- 21 Apr
As awareness of Alternative Finance grows and appeals to a wider audience, funding platforms are offering solutions for increasingly niche requirements. The sector is evolving fast and recent legislation mandating banks to refer unsuccessful loan applicants to non-banks, means an increasing number of business owners will be looking for direction on who to approach for their individual funding requirements.
On the other side of the coin, we have pensions reform and the promise of a lending ISA that many predict will bring a heightened level of interest from investors. This community too, will need help navigating its options.
Broadly speaking, Alternative Finance for businesses breaks down into four camps: Equity (e.g.Crowdcube, Syndicate Room, Angels' Den); Debt (FundingKnight, LendInvest, Crowd2Fund, Credit4); Receivables (Platform Black, MarketInvoice, URICA) and Asset Finance (Ablrate)
In response to the volume of platforms in each of these categories, there has been an emergence of aggregator or comparison sites which aim to simplify the selection process, much like the already familiar sites for comparing credit cards or insurance. Interestingly, some of the traditional comparison sites are also beginning to cover peer-to-peer.
Ironically, now there are so many sites aggregating the platforms, it’s hard to know which of those to start with!
There are different types of aggregator out there. Some (like Informed Funding and Alternative Business Funding) are using questionnaires and formulas to direct business users to a select number of providers. Others (like Business Agent) are aggregating equity and loan opportunities into one place for the benefit of investors.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of the aggregator sites we think have a clear offering and that would simplify the process for a business looking for finance or an investor looking to invest:
- 4thway–financial comparison featuring a ‘Risk Rating’and also a more in-depth ‘Insight Report’, aimed at explaining all the highlights and key features.
- Alternative Business Funding–a collaboration rather than a straight broking site, all listed funders agree to act in the same way and refer rejected SMEs back to the portal.
- Better Business Finance - managed by the British Bankers’Association (BBA) in collaboration with its business and finance partners.
- BusinessAgent–the only aggregator to host Crowdfunders and Crowdlenders on its website alongside 7,000 private businesses for sale.
- Business Finance Compared - backed by leading venture builder Blenheim Chalcot and an experienced board, Business Finance Compared are ultimately working towards the development of an automated lead to loan system.
- Finpoint - offers businesses looking for finance out to their lenders as identified by their criteria on a referral basis.
- Funding Options–one of the neutral platforms going for designation under the Small Business Bill.
- Informed Funding–a division of Knowledge Peers, Informed Funding offers representation via a microsite managed by each funding platform.
- InvestUP allows investors to buy shares and lend money from one site
- Nurture Money - independent crowdfunding comparison and content site.
- The Funding Centre–from AltFi, The Funding Centre features editorial focused around educating businesses on alternative funding.
It’s too soon to know who will be the winners and losers, but helping SMEs and investors navigate this rapidly growing marketplace and easily compare finance providers is an important part of bringing non-bank funding into the mainstream.
- 18 Apr
The winds of technology-induced change have been ripping through the financial service industries for quite a while now – banking and fund management being prime examples – but up until now the...
- 15 Apr
Kids, they say, grow up quickly and nowhere is this more true than in FinTech. Barely five years ago, the phrase wasn’t even invented. Now it is the collective noun for billion dollar enterprises,...
- 10 Apr
Speculating on how far the robot revolution could go is nothing new – Hollywood has been producing apocalyptic films for decades showing machines ruthlessly taking over from humans as masters of...
- 30 Mar
One of the recurring themes at this year's AltFi Europe event, organised by the excellent AltFi team, was a quest for the definition of a bank, or more particularly a bank of the future. Is it any...
- 22 Mar
Students of the history of finance may one day look back on Giles Andrews’ appointment to the Chair of MarketInvoice (MI) as a major milestone in the evolution of the P2P sector....
- 18 Mar
The Bank of England has made steps towards improving relations between itself and the Fintech sector with the launch of its new community. The community intends to bring the Bank and Fintech-related...
- 15 Mar
Sometimes you just have to say ‘well played’....
- 03 Mar
The much-vaunted Bank Referral Scheme master-minded by the Treasury went live on November 1 last year, followed by deafening silence ever since. Anecdotal stories have been trickling out that suggest...
- 02 Mar
Two very clear trends are emerging in the Alternative Finance sector. First, with lenders casting aside any doubts about security to get at the attractive yields available, the pressure is on for...
- 23 Feb
At long last, the shareholders of RBS (still 73% owned by the State) have received a piece of goodish news that should help raise their spirits. Faced with the prospect of missing the deadline for...