72. Funding Options
The signposting website helping small firms discover the right finance option for them
Founder: Conrad Ford
Founded: August 2011
Following the well-publicised collapse in bank lending to small firms, a huge range of alternative finance providers have sprung up to offer a lifeline – but from challenger banks to equity crowdfunding, the range of options can be daunting. This is where Funding Options comes in: its unique technology can analyse the needs of small firms and connect them with the most appropriate finance option for their needs.
Since launch the service has seen an impressive growth in uptake, doubling volumes quarter-on-quarter in 2013 and recently launching a new credit reference service which has already been used by 100,000 firms in its first few months. Winner of the government’s flagship ‘Tech City Launchpad’ grant programme, Funding Options also initially secured £250,000 angel funding from prominent investors including MMC Ventures co-founder Alan Morgan, before raising £500,000 subsequent venture capital funding earlier this year in a syndicate round led by The North West Fund for Digital & Creative. With plenty of financial backing, founder Conrad Ford says the funds will be used across 2014 to help the site become “the go-to-option for firms seeking finance”.