UK startup B-North has smashed its crowdfunding target and raised €2.34 million, with 12 days still left to go. Funds have come from existing and new investors through equity crowdfunding platforms Crowdcube and Growthfunders, and overall mean that B-North will start the new year with a total raised of around €5 million.
The bank says it will use the new funds “to continue the planned expansion of its workforce and infrastructure”. The news also comes having recently appointed its new chairman, Ron Emerson, who was the first chair of the British Business Bank (the UK government’s economic development bank).
B-North founded in 2018, aims to disrupt the €170 billion UK business lending market, because, as it states, “it shouldn’t take months to complete a loan facility with your lender”. The team is working to transform the lending experience, both for UK businesses and for commercial finance intermediaries, with a high level of customer service.
In the second quarter of 2020, the startup aims to launch its regional ‘Lending Pods’ across Manchester. Each Pod will contain the key decision makers to work with the Broker/SME customers to fully understand their borrowing requirements. B-North’s delivery mechanism aims to offer customers more certainty, flexibility and access to funds, via fast initial credit decisions and simultaneous full approval, valuation and legal processes – overall reducing ‘time to cash’ from months to just days or weeks.
It states, “B-North’s proposed regional pod model and cloud banking technology will allow it to lend up to ten times faster than other banks in order to help SMEs grow and develop.”