A new finance platform that allows small businesses to access equity, grants and loans has launched in Australia, with former Vow CEO Tim Brown appointed as CEO.
Swoop Finance Pty Ltd (Swoop), which was first launched in the UK and Ireland in 2018, has formally opened its first international operations, with a new arm in Australia.
The fintech platform and digital marketplace is a matching platform that aims to assist start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SME) in accessing funding across equity, debt, loans and grants.
It aims to find funding solutions that suit the company based on its stage of development and business sector. According to the fintech, it also helps SMEs identify savings and cut costs in areas such as banking, foreign exchange, insurance, utilities and broadband.
The platform uses a search algorithm to filter the data and provide businesses with financial resources, information and advice in a “single and integrated hub” for financial management and planning, which it said would eliminate the need to travel.
Ezifin Financial Services CEO Tim Brown (a former CEO of YBR/Vow Financial and a former chair of the Mortgage Finance Association of Australia) has been appointed as CEO of the Australian business.
Mr Brown will be responsible for the company’s growth in the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Commenting on his appointment and the launch of Swoop in Australia, Mr Brown said: “I’m excited to be developing a business that has already proved its worth in the UK and Ireland, and I’m certain that Swoop will be invaluable to Australian companies that are looking to raise or save money. I look forward to growing our team with technical and funding specialists.
“Another benefit to the Swoop platform is that, until now, there have been few opportunities to introduce Australian businesses to global investors in a smooth and structured way. Swoop eases the path to finance and makes connections that would otherwise go undiscovered.”
Speaking to The Adviser about the platform, Mr Brown said that he is in discussions with aggregation groups to enable their brokers to use the platform. However, he outlined that there are no plans to deal directly with brokers at this stage.
“We’ve got the ability to integrate in their existing CRM and offer the platform to their existing brokers,” Mr Brown told The Adviser.
“They would use the platform in the same way as an accountant would to establish the best products for their small-business clients.”
Mr Brown added that the Swoop platform would enable mortgage brokers to continue to offer their core services while expanding their product offering “without the complications of having to learn all those other products”.
“The platform does a lot of the analysis and helps the broker continue to focus on their residential but also value-adds in the sense of giving them another product to offer to their existing clients who are small businesses,” he said.
Swoop would obtain a share of the revenue generated by brokers in any completed transaction as the fintech would package the loan, with the broker acting as the referrer and adviser, Mr Brown added.
According to Mr Brown, Swoop currently has 40 funders on its panel that are currently live on its website, with the fintech currently in the process of completing the paperwork and registering an additional 15 to 16 funders.
Additionally, the fintech has signed 24 agreements with lenders, with another 21 agreements pending and the lenders in the process of being added to its panel.
Mr Brown added that the fintech would form partnerships with accountancy groups and associations in Australia, which would enable it to join them as a white label provider, where it would seek to white label the platform for those associations’ SME members.
Swoop is also planning to establish itself through the direct channel by approaching associations that cater to small businesses, or through other partnerships such as with commercial insurance brokers, Mr Brown said.
Senior fintech market adviser for Enterprise Ireland, Scott Patterson, who is supporting Swoop’s entry into the Australian market, said: “We are delighted that Swoop’s global expansion is commencing in the Australian market, which follows success in the UK and Ireland where they have forged a market-leading reputation for simplifying and supporting SME access to credit.”
[Related: HashChing unveils digital marketing tool]
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.
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