7 July 2015

MarketInvoice and Sage, the business software and services provider, today announced a major partnership that will help SMEs unlock the UK’s growing alternative finance industry, which was worth £1.74 billion* in 2014.

Integrating with peer-to-peer business lender for short term finance, MarketInvoice, Sage’s flagship SME accounting package – Sage 50 Accounts – will now enable small businesses across the UK and Ireland to apply for business-critical funds more quickly and easily than ever before.

Sage has been at the forefront of payment and funding innovation for years, and alternative finance is no exception,” said Lee Perkins, EVP and UKI Managing Director for Sage Group plc.

“Sage Pay already provides a key piece of the business growth puzzle, and when it comes to SME accounting, Sage 50 Accounts offers the deepest and broadest hybrid accounting capabilities on the market. By partnering with MarketInvoice, we’re giving SMEs in the UK and Ireland the ability to swiftly and easily apply for additional funding to support their business development and growth.”

Lack of finance remains a critical issue for UK companies, with almost 40 per cent stating it holds them back from growing, according to UK Bond Network. Whether they need to invest in stock, new premises, product development, or even cover day-to-day costs, alternative finance can provide faster, more convenient lending than traditional sources. Marketplace lending platforms have provided over £2.1bn in funds to UK small businesses in recent years.

“Peer-to-peer finance is changing the face of financial services and it’s clear some of the UK’s biggest companies are alive to this,” commented Anil Stocker, co-founder and CEO of MarketInvoice. “The support of top firms like Sage will be a catalyst for the already rapid growth of the industry, and naturally we’re very excited about what can be achieved together. We already support many of the UK’s most exciting, high-growth small businesses, and this partnership will bring us to even more of those companies.”

One Sage 50 Accounts customer which has already harnessed MarketInvoice funding through the solution is Essex-based craft beer specialist Ales by Mail. With plans to double the number of product lines it sold via its primary online marketplace, the company needed to rapidly access funds to fuel this growth. By working with MarketInvoice, Ales by Mail was able to do just this, sourcing the working capital needed to cover paying numerous breweries while growing its online marketplace offering. So far this year, the company has experienced 76 per cent faster growth than during the first two quarters of 2014.

* The UK Alternative Finance Industry Report 2014 published by NESTA and the University of Cambridge

About Sage

Sage energizes the success of businesses and their communities around the world through the use of smart technology and the imagination of our people. Sage has reimagined business and brings energy, experience and technology to inspire our customers to fulfil their dreams. We work with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners and developers who drive the global economy. Sage is a FTSE 100 company with 14,000 employees in 24 countries. For more information, visit www.sage.com.

About MarketInvoice

MarketInvoice is a peer-to-peer business lender for short term finance. Businesses can access funds in 24 hours against outstanding invoices, licenses, contracts and subscriptions.

Launched in 2011, MarketInvoice has helped hundreds of businesses overcome the lengthy payment terms of their customers. More than £430m has been raised through the platform, with businesses using the funds to hire more staff, launch new products and pay their suppliers.In August 2013, the UK government – via the British Business Bank – began lending to UK small businesses through MarketInvoice. The partnership has now seen more than £50m funded to UK small businesses.