Greg Carter

Exclusive: Growth Street to enter broker market

Growth Street has revealed that it plans to launch a broker proposition as it bids to increase access to funding for UK SMEs.

The marketplace SME lending platform offers revolving credit facilities to businesses and has lent over £15m to over 100 borrowers since launching.

Growth Street has previously not used the broker market, but speaking exclusively to Bridging & Commercial, Greg Carter, founder of Growth Street, said it was starting to build relationships with the broker community after fine-tuning its product.

“Until now, we hadn't focused on the broker market, which was a deliberate choice, to focus on building the product and working with customers to make sure that we got the right product in place.

“However, we have been having a few selective conversations with brokers over the last three months and, in particular, started to build up relationships with a few so that we can make sure that when we go to market with our broker proposition, it will be one that really fits their needs.”

Greg said that 2017 would involve a lot more outreach to the broker community and revealed that the conversations it had had to date suggested that there was a real need for the Growth Street product.

Greg Carter, founder of Growth Street

“…Several of the brokers that we have spoken to say that they love Growth Street because no one else in the broker community knows about it. 

“The key for us with the broker proposition is a key hire, who we will be announcing in the next few weeks and that will be a key part of our growth of the broker channel and the business more generally.”

Last year saw Growth Street invest in the technology side of the business as it steadily built its loan book. 

One of the major achievements of 2016 for the lending platform was to integrate with an e-money account connected to the faster payments network and Greg hopes this will help its plans to increase the number of financial products it has available. 

“Today, every borrower has their own Growth Street account, which is an e-money account connected to the faster payments networks, and what that means is that they can send money through the faster payments network directly to their Growth Street account to pay down or borrow funds.

“In time, it also means that we can expand the functionality to make it into a current account and so that is part of our roadmap over the next year, which is to expand the functionality and start to show people that they can get a better banking experience with Growth Street.”

Greg was also pleased by the rich portfolio of clients it had built up since launching and had been amazed by their financial performance.

“In the year ending 2016, the average client had revenue growth – that is seasonally adjusted – of 24% and they had profit before tax margins on average of 10%.

“So, these are really fast-growing businesses that are very profitable and I think that … one of the great untold stories of small businesses is how fast growing they can be.”

However, Greg felt that there was still a gap in funding for SMEs, despite the rising number of alternative lenders and felt brokers would play a key role in helping SMEs find the right finance options.

“There has never been so much choice for business owners and having a trusted partner like a broker that has taken the time to understand the full market is now more important than ever. 

“I think we will continue to see the importance of brokers grow in the borrowers’ journey as they have these specialists help them navigate the different options. 

“It is a really interesting time for the broker community.”


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    Steve Lee

    If Growth Street's efforts to court the broker community begins with the comments that they had "studiously ignored" brokers previously, it seems they have a long way to go. I wouldn't want to be the new hire that has to build their reputation after that comment.

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