London-based digital “super platform” Capitalise.com has raised $13.8 million (£10 million) to support a new, integrated risk management service to provide credit insights beyond traditional credit reports. Investors in the round include Experian, QED Investors, Gauss Ventures, Hambro Perks, and Post Finance.
Capitalise.com helps SMEs secure the financing they need in order to grow their business. The company leverages its accountant-as-adviser approach to ensure that small businesses access smarter, more appropriate funding sources and avoid the kind of short-term, ill-fitting financing solutions that often result in high rates and high fees.
Paul Surtees, company CEO and co-founder, pointed to the COVID pandemic as the impetus – at least in part – for the new offering. “Everybody has had to think differently during the pandemic, including us, so we created a virtuous circle in which SMEs and their advisors are shielded from risk and helped to grow.”
With its new risk management service, Capital Reports, Capitalise.com empowers accountants to defend their small business clients from potential and unforeseen risks to their client’s or their supplier’s credit positions. These risks may come in the form of potential defaults, or a company’s need or propensity to borrow, and gives them real-time access to a curated panel of both mainstream and alternative lenders. The service, available as both a paid and a free subscription and powered by credit data from Experian, will be available to approximately 500,000 small businesses through their accountant partners. Capitalise.com stated that an additional 500,000 SMEs will be able to access Capital Reports via API and Open Banking partnerships.
“Managing credit risk is central to lender activity but SME owners typically overlook it,” Capitalise.com co-founder and Chief Product Officer Ollie Maitlaind explained. “This restricts their growth and jeopardizes their survival.” He emphasized the fragility of supply chains as exposed by the global health crisis and noted that, as businesses emerge from the worst of the pandemic, “their ability to recover and protect capital … will be crucial.” Maitlaind added that upon successful launch in the U.K., Capitalise.com plans to bring the service to the South African market later this year “with more countries to follow.”
Founded in 2014, Capitalise.com made its Finovate debut two years later at our fintech conference in London. The company’s total equity funding now stands at more than $18 million.