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Atom Bank co-founder’s fintech start-up BFM raises £1.3m in oversubscribed investment round


Business Finance Market (BFM), a fintech start-up founded by the entrepreneur behind two UK challenger banks Craig Iley, has raised £1.3 million in seed funding.

BFM, which is based in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, is intended to streamline the process bringing lenders and small businesses together. It originally targeted a fundraise of £1 million, which ultimately was surpassed in pledges from investors.

It intends to use the investment to drive its technology development and boost its team. The funding round has been led by fellow Newton Aycliffe firm Growth Capital Ventures, and is the investor’s latest Enterprise Investment Scheme-eligible opportunity.

BFM provides access to quicker finance decisions for SMEs, and gives lenders a platform to manage the end-to-end application process for SME funding. It plans to use databases, machine learning and customer journeys to improve and speed up the process of applying for support.

Craig Iley, who co-founded Atom Bank and also launched Bank North, said: “Expectations among SMEs are increasing with a demand for more focused lending products, faster credit decisions, improved funding chances and flexible options regarding collateral requirements.

“We are reengineering the entire journey, to reduce friction for all stakeholder groups and ensure better customer outcomes along with benefits to investors.”

Growth Capital Ventures’ Co-founder and COO, Craig Peterson, added: “When we issued this latest investment opportunity in BFM to our investor network, it attracted a considerable amount of interest. Such is the belief in the strong executive team and the aims behind the new technology platform.

“Once developed, this platform will make it easier for SMEs and their trusted advisors to access finance quicker and easier. It will allow businesses to deal with multiple providers at the click of a button. This is an attractive proposition not just for SMEs but banks, commercial brokers, UK plc and the Bank of England.”

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