Delivering an amazing customer experience for small businesses using technology and data.
A platform that has revolutionised the SME lending market.
Our technology and data have reinvented SME lending. Thanks to our platform, SMEs have been able to secure the funding they need to win. But we can do more. That’s why our platform is constantly evolving so that it delivers more solutions to SMEs more quickly and more seamlessly.
Our unique capabilities are shaped by:
businesses in our data lake
lent to SMEs
UK risk models
Our 4D system
Data accumulation; data engineering; data science; decision engine – our “4D” system is the enabler behind the Funding Circle platform which, in a little over a decade, has revolutionised SME lending.
It is a system that is centred around the continual expansion of our decision making capabilities. The more data points we gather and the more our technology manages and leverages the data, the more our models learn. The more our models learn, the more accurate and predictive they become, which enables us to innovate and improve our offering further. This not only helps attract more borrowers and institutional investors to our platform, but also expands our data and increases our competitive advantage. This is what we call the Funding Circle Flywheel.
How the 4D system works
We continue to gather a proportion of our data from publicly available sources. What has changed over the years is the ever-increasing amount of bespoke data we collect from our own analysis and from our engagement with customers. Put these two sources together and our data provides unique insights into customer behaviours over the entire life cycle of a loan – from application to repayment.
We’re not just data gatherers, however. We put our data to work so that our predictive models can make accurate risk decisions. All this data therefore needs to be cleaned, managed and maintained. This is where our data engineering tools and teams come in.
Incoming data is absorbed into our data lake in real time. We use inputs gained from a variety of sources such as bank statements, financial results and balance sheets. The output is a digital and structured database that is in a workable format for our data scientists.
The database is then leveraged by our data scientists who crunch the numbers looking for patterns and other insights that drive our platform’s learning capabilities and further improves the accuracy of our statistical and predictive models. As part of this process, scenario simulation is undertaken along with back-testing, validation and monitoring.
Our latest generation models are so advanced that they have the capability to predict whether a customer will accept or reject a loan offer. This is not just a “nice to have” functionality, it informs customer targeting initiatives. Above all, however, the models feed the decision engine.
Powered by the data, the models and the machine learning, the decision engine enables not only lending decisions to be optimised in real time but also the experience of the borrower to be enhanced by generating a customer journey that is based around questions and data that are specific to them.
Driving value and deepening engagement
Borrowers benefit from having an easy, fast and flexible experience, as evidenced by the strong customer satisfaction scores and high repeat rates we consistently see. Institutional investors benefit from the positive and secure returns they receive. Funding Circle benefits because both borrowers and institutional investors continue to come to us, enabling us to grow as we help more SMEs.
And thanks to the ever-improving quality of our data, alongside the development of our new product capabilities, the Funding Circle Flywheel is not only getting faster, it is getting bigger and enabling us to meet more borrower needs.
Jeff took on US mobile app business PaperKarma in 2017. A Funding Circle term loan helped the company survive and thrive through the pandemic and beyond.
PaperKarma is a mobile app that automatically and continuously unsubscribes users from junk and unwanted catalogues. With over 1 million subscribers, users upload a picture of their unwanted mailer to the app, and image recognition technology will identify the distributor and remove them from the mailing list. The app helps users take back control of their mailbox and cut clutter, while saving trees and positively impacting the environment too.
Denver-based CEO Jeff acquired the business in 2017 and by February 2020, he wanted to secure financing to help the business launch new features and redesign the app to drive greater conversion and revenue. PaperKarma was introduced to Funding Circle through one of our Marketplace partners and secured a term loan, just weeks before pandemic lockdowns began in the US.
PaperKarma was able to continue to build and plan through uncertain times, retaining its technology and product team throughout, and with the funding laying the groundwork for continued success today. Over 8 million opt-out requests have been sent by the app which has a five-star rating. Big plans continue at pace, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for PaperKarma!