February 2014

UK small companies are hotting up, according to leading market information service Beauhurst.

Beauhurst, the leading source of deep data on growing companies, released its 2013 Annual Equity Investment Review at an event on 26 February 2014 held at the National Gallery in association with the Business Growth Fund.

Stephen Bence, Chairman and Co-founder of Beauhurst, shared his findings on UK equity investment to the hundreds of finance professionals in attendance. He said:

Beauhurst research shows that 2013 was a boom year for investment with over £1.5bn invested into 650 of our fastest growing companies. That’s 35% up from 2012. And our very early data from 2014 suggests that investment in the first 8 weeks of the year is up 65% from the same period in 2013.

The angel flies

Much of the growth in equity investment is down to seed-stage investing, which has risen hugely in recent times with the 2013 total exceeding the combined total from 2011 and 2012. This is the typical preserve of the “angel” investor whose interest has been kindled by generous tax breaks and a rise in crowd funding platforms such as CrowdCube that make it easier to access the seed-stage market. Investments concluded via these platforms have increased 8-fold over the past 12 months.

Low aspirations

It is oft said that there’s no “venture” in “venture capital” and there is certainly a mismatch between the disruptive technologies that have dominated the media (bitcoins and 3D printing particularly come to mind) and the activities of the venture capital community (just a single bitcoin investment and nothing for 3D printing during 2013). This isn’t because these areas are pure media hype because there have been plenty of US investments in these areas.

The new equity gap

While early-stage (seed) investing and later-stage (growth) investing are booming, the middle- stage (venture) is losing market share. There is a real risk that this stifles the growth of the promising batch of seed stage companies that will need investment over the coming years. There is a clear need for Government to look at what it can do to stimulate this part of the market.

Business Funding Report: Banks are lending again, globally

Here at business funding, we make finance easier to understand, and easier for your business, to help your businesses grow.

In the last 6 months, we’ve seen a turnaround in bank lending. Banks are lending, but small businesses generally have little confidence of this. America has seen a huge rise in both community banks and main stream banks become players in big lending – both private equity and loans.

Arthur Weiss, a partner at the American based law firm Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC, said that there has been a huge shift towards banks now competing and bidding to help provide credit for businesses.

He said: “Banks are lending to customers again instead of litigating against them”.

Last summer, Southfield-based Sun Communities Inc., a provider of manufactured- home communities, wanted to replace a $350 million line of credit. “A lot of banks wanted to participate,” Weiss said. The company in fact managed to raise $600 million.

Closer to home, Spanish banks are now starting to provide more commercial and residential mortgages to investors at competitive rates.

Meanwhile a recent survey on Indian businesses by the Credit Information Bureau have shown that banks are once again actively lending to consumers and businesses, although are being tougher on lending to those with a poor credit history.

Back in the UK, the five biggest lenders, RBS, HSBC, Santander, Lloyd’s Banking Group and Barclays have joined forces to launch a huge campaign which will encourage SMEs to apply for loans.

But however big or small your business is, whether it has a turnover of £1 million or £100 million, cash flow problems are working capital are continuous problems. The bank may have already said no to you, and that’s where we come in. Our expert business loan advisers have helped hundreds of business owners get loans from the bank, even if they’ve been rejected previously. They work hard and study your business before placing you with the right bank manager or even look for other alternative ways of financing your business.

Talk to us now for a free, friendly chat, we want to help you out with your business as much as you do!

Peak in the construction industry strengthens the pound

The pound strengthened today following positive news on the UK construction industry hitting the sharpest rise since August 2007, according to Markits latest figures . As housing activity peaks in the UK, more jobs have been created in the construction sector, and confidence is high for a promising 2014.

The construction economy has also seen a recent rise in domestic and export orders from overseas, which shifts the reliance on UK household spending to drive growth.

At business funding www.businessfunding.co.uk, our expert advisers also provide and assist businesses seeking short term import and export finance. So if you’re a manufacturing or construction company struggling with cash flow and have an ever increasing order demand, talk to us now for more information about short term (90 day) finance options to purchase stock and materials.

Mortgages on the rise

Compared to the end of the financial crisis in 2012, the number of mortgage deals in the UK surged by over 20%, according to the Bank of England.

The government backed Help-to-Buy scheme was mostly responsible for these increases, although it has been warned by Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, that mortgages would not get any cheaper.

With the surge in house prices, averaging an impressive 11% rise in London last year, investors and first time buyers are competing for property purchases in London and the UK.

Businesses too have also seen the surge in property prices in the UK and dependent on their turnover and assets, can obtain commercial mortgages to buy commercial property or businesses in their entirety.

At business funding, our expert mortgage brokers can help source competitive mortgages with up to 80% Loan to Value (20% initial deposit required). Find out more here and speak to one of our advisers now.