Schoolbooks.ie, based in Tralee, Co. Kerry, has raised over €100,000 from Linked Finance, Ireland’s leading peer-to-peer (P2P) lender. As Ireland’s largest online retailer of schoolbooks, the funds raised have been used by the company to increase its art, craft and school-book stock to cater for increased demand as parents have coped with home-schooling during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the three months since the beginning of March, Irish SMEs have raised working capital and investment funding worth over €5.2m from Linked Finance since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.
Schoolbooks.ie saw increased demand for its products as a result of school closures during the coronavirus pandemic which saw thousands of parents across the country home-schooling their children.
choolbooks.ie stock a wide range of school books, art supplies and craft materials to keep children entertained and learning from home. Given the size and urgency of these orders, Schoolbooks.ie sought access to fast and affordable funds to fulfil orders and replenish stock.
Established in 2004, Schoolbooks.ie is Irish owned and works to take the hassle out of buying school books and bring better value to parents. This is the third loan Schoolbooks.ie has used Linked Finance to raise funds to expand its business.
Commenting on the funding, Paul McCann, managing director, Schoolbooks.ie:
“Linked Finance has been our go-to loans provider in recent years. They understand our business and the needs of SMEs and the support we’ve had from them during the Covid-19 pandemic has made a real difference. When we needed to scale up art & craft supplies and school-book stock to meet home-schooling demands during the lockdown they were there to provide the finance we needed, fast and with no hassle.”
Niall Dorrian, chief executive of Linked Finance said:
‘‘The purpose of our platform is to finance great Irish businesses like Schoolbooks.ie, and provide them with fast, easy access to funding so they can unlock the full potential of their business. The drive, innovation and resilience of Irish SMEs is essential to the recovery of the Irish economy from the shock of recent months. Our experience supporting SMEs during this crisis shows the critical importance of the next government making non-bank lenders such as Linked Finance part of the solution to support SMEs as the country reopens.”
During the current pandemic, Linked Finance has worked with businesses in 21 counties, across all sectors including medical, construction and wholesale businesses to raise capital to fulfil orders including essential supplies such as PPE equipment and scrubs.
In March, Linked Finance launched a new “Deferred Start Loan” for businesses affected by the coronavirus. The innovative 15-month loan allows businesses to borrow up to €100,000, with repayments due in 12 monthly instalments after the first 3 months, during which no interest or capital repayment will be paid.
Since its launch in 2013 Linked Finance has provided loans totalling over €135m, for more than 2,500 ambitious local businesses in every county of the country.