Increasing access to SME growth funding

18-Apr-2019

Shaw & Co, a corporate finance firm, has announced a partnership with alternative credit specialist Caple to help SMEs access unsecured lending.  Bristol-based Shaw & Co has created a debt advisory practice to support the partnership with Caple.

SMEs typically have difficulty raising money without assets to put up as security to banks, making personal guarantees or diluting their ownership by issuing equity.

Now, through its partnership with Caple, Shaw & Co will help SMEs access long-term unsecured debt finance of between £500,000 and £5m. 

Caple is the first in the UK to offer unsecured lending based on the future cash flows of the SME.  The business requires no collateral or personal guarantees as security.  The loans are designed to complement existing bank lending. 

Jim Shaw, partner at Shaw & Co, said: “We want to help our SME clients find the funding they need to grow and succeed.  Long-term unsecured debt finance is critical to enabling SME growth but until now the options have been severely limited.

“Through our partnership with Caple and the additional expertise in our debt advisory team, we are able to help our clients access debt funding to support their growth.”

Supported by Caple’s proprietary technology platform, Shaw & Co assesses the eligibility of its clients for funding.  It also prepares business plans and financial forecasts that make the case for funding.

The move is part of Shaw & Co’s ambition to help SMEs find suitable credit across the increasingly complex funding landscape. 

Recognising the unique opportunity to help SMEs access unsecured lending, Shaw & Co has created a debt advisory practice to support the partnership with Caple.  The practice will also provide independent advice to SMEs. 

Shaw & Co has appointed Alexei Garan as head of the team and Colin Burns as a director.  Alexei has a wealth of experience across the alternative lending market having run his own debt advisory practice.  Colin joins with more than 25 years in corporate banking with major high street banks. 

Caple originates loans through a local partner network of business advisory and accountancy firms. 

Dominic Buch, co-founder and managing partner of Caple, said: “Options for unsecured debt are limited in the UK.  While banks can fund an amount that reflects the tangible assets in a business, they can’t help if a business has no further assets.

 “In an asset-light economy such as the UK, this creates a barrier to growth and may push businesses to issue equity instead of raising debt.  By complementing traditional bank lending, Caple is able to support a blend of funding that delivers stable and long-term financing to support SME growth.” 

Proving the appetite among SMEs, Caple has completed ten deals worth more than £20m in total for ten UK SMEs. 

The loans Caple facilitates are part of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s SME Alternative Financing direct lending platform, which enables SMEs to access funding from institutional investors.  BNP Paribas Asset Management aims to provide €1bn per year in funding to SMEs across Europe and €400m in the UK.