|Industry||Finance and Technology|
MarketInvoice is a United Kingdom-based financial technology company. It was the UK’s first online marketplace allowing companies to selectively and confidentially sell outstanding invoices to raise working capital. Launched in February 2011, the platform allows small and medium-sized businesses who have outstanding invoices to large corporates to trade these with institutional investors online. Investors advance cash against these future payments for a fee. As of 16 June 2014, the company claimed that over £180m worth of funding had been provided to businesses on the site.
MarketInvoice is based in London and launched in February 2011. The company was backed with £930,000 of seed finance from angel investors. By November 2013, the company was trading £10 million of invoices a month. The company was launched in a climate of macroeconomic uncertainty, where large corporates delay payments to small companies as a way to preserve cash.
MarketInvoice's platform allows SMEs with corporate customers to sell their unpaid invoices to a pool of global investors. This gives businesses instant liquidity and the buyers a healthy return. The platform is a new take on invoice finance, with the receivable being sold over an online exchange rather than bilaterally to a bank or factor.
MarketInvoice was declared City AM's "Innovation of the Year" winner in 2012, as well as winner of the Institute of Credit Management's "Commercial Finance Provider of the Year" Award in 2013. MarketInvoice was a finalist for the Startups website's "Innovative Business of the Year" competition 2011 and was a finalist for Business Money Magazine's 2012 Alternative Funding Provider of the Year competition. MarketInvoice was also a finalist for Credit Today Awards Alternative Lender of the Year 2012. MarketInvoice won Best Use of Technology (Creditor) at the 2014 Credit Today Awards. The company was featured in the Smarta Breakthrough 50 as one of the 50 best breakthrough companies in June 2014.
In August 2013, MarketInvoice was awarded £5 million in government funding to lend to small businesses through the Business Finance Partnership. The extension of the scheme, to boost finance through non-bank lenders, was announced by Vince Cable, business secretary.
The Breedon Report on Alternative Finance, published on March 16, 2012, announced that the availability of finance could be constrained as the British economy recovers, leading to a potential credit gap of up to £191 billion over the next five years. The report also pointed out that while bank lending dominates the market, there is significant potential to develop both the demand and supply of non-bank finance to match the trend that occurred in the USA where banks account for significantly less of total funding to SMEs. Specific policy proposals submitted to Business Secretary Vince Cable through this report identified greater use of invoice discounting and supply chain finance to allow SMEs to unlock cash efficiently from outstanding payments from large corporates. MarketInvoice was one of a number of businesses that contributed to the task force report and is cited by the task force as an example of online invoice finance marketplaces.
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- Helen Loveless (26 June 2011). "Now you can put invoices on eBay and ask for bids". The Mail on Sunday.
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