Fintech startup MarketInvoice is getting into small business lending and taking on big banks

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MarketInvoice founders Ilya Kondrashov (L) and Anil Stocker (R) are launching new services (Source: PR)

One of the UK's most well-known startups is taking on the big banks with a move into lending for small business, a market worth £35bn a year.

MarketInvoice is expanding from peer-to-peer invoice financing into short-term loans of between £10k and £100k.

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The fintech firm has already lent more then £1m to small businesses during a closed beta testing period over the last three months.

And it says its lending platform, which will plug in to firms' accounting software from which it can draw information to assess credit, will take only 24-hours to process applications, a faster pace than most banks.

“We're always looking for more ways to help businesses get the funding they need, that's why we're excited with the launch of our loans," said co-founder and chief executive Anil Stocker.

"This fits into our goal to support a wider range of companies and to give owners the help they need to focus on their business ambitions, rather than their funding challenges. Our experience in underwriting business credit, coupled with our technology and people means we are well-placed to serve this demand."

The new product will also mean the startup can start working with small businesses at an earlier stage as they are more likely to be looking for a loan before invoice financing.

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It is targeting £2bn of financing by the end of the year. It broke the £1bn mark in November 2016 after being in business since 2010.

The expansion of the startup, which last year raised more than £7m in venture capital cash just weeks after Brexit, will also bring with it a rebrand, including a new logo and advertising campaign.

MarketInvoice is also planning to partner with a major bank, in the latest example of financial institutions and up-starts collaborating, though the details of the deal have not been disclosed.