Marketlend Academy: The Lending Challenge For Small to Medium Enterprises

Why a digital marketplace for SME lending? The simple answer is a need among SMEs for more access to capital and investment opportunities. Here as part of our Marketlend SME Academy, Marketlend Founder and CEO Leo Tyndall talks about how the search for money was a source of pain for many in the SME landscape when he began.  (Prefer to read, not watch?  The transcript is below.)


Q: What was the pain that you were seeing in the market [when it came to SME lending]? 


A: What really was obvious was there was a number of things: firstly, that the size of transactions that was sort of sitting between the businesses turning over one to 20 million, they weren’t really getting the proper attention from the banks. The banks weren’t giving those SME’s and their sort number one attention. What also was seen is that suppliers would give credit that suppliers would have a vested interest in when they gave credit so that they would change the credit terms quite regularly, and then at the same time, they wouldn’t actually give them credit for different suppliers. They would only give them credit for one supplier.


So then, what we saw also, was that the investors would complain they weren’t getting yields. So they would go into major investment schemes, other type of investments, find that their managers were charging them one to 2%, find that there was a fee here, and a fee there, and by the time that they looked at their net return, they were lucky to get much more than what the banks were doing, and the banks were actually offering them, as they do now, one to 2% yield and yet they’re landing on the other side of 12, 14, even up to 20%.


So the SME’s, when we first started, which was in December 2014, what we found is the SME’s at that time didn’t have a lot of options. So there wasn’t that many SME lenders out there either, and they were very, very expensive. There has been a lot more SME vendors pop up, close to about 60. However, their rates have been still quite high, so the risk is not being matched against the actual, essentially, profile of the borrowing, not getting any interest rate for risk. So what you’ll find is a business that’s turning over, say one to ten million, which should be a fairly positive risk, is turning out to be paying quite high rates.