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This week we dive deep into business overdrafts with James Sherwin-Smith CEO of Growth Street.
If you overdrafts sound dull consider the fact that they are the most commonly used form of financing for SMEs in the UK and that their supply has fallen by 40-50% in the past twelve months :-O
That’s enough to get politicians interested, let alone Fintechers.
Greg Carter one of the founders was working as a VC at Arts Alliance (the firm behind such winners as LoveFilm and Shazam). He found that many of his portfolio companies struggled to open basic overdraft facilities from banks. It was from this experience of pain that the idea for Growth Street emerged as a non-bank alternative for SMEs.
To make a definitional point to an FS guy like myself an overdraft is something which comes from a bank. And indeed banks first did business overdrafts in 1728. Only banks can offer them and thus a non-bank Fintech can’t.
However a Fintech is perfectly able to issue loans and if this is structured as a facility which you can call upon when needed to a pre-agreed limit at a defined cost – well frankly it’ll just be easier to call that an overdraft on the show.
Growth Street offer facilities up to £1/2million to UK limited companies. Applications take 15mins online with a decision in 3 days and only charge a monthly fee when the facility is being used.
Rather different from a bank what?
Amongst other things we discuss: Continue reading