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Fintech business lender MarketInvoice has raised £26m in new equity funding through investments led by Barclays and fintech fund Santander InnoVentures.

Other investors include European venture fund Northzone, an existing investor in the company.

Technology credit fund Viola Credit, who also participated in the equity round, will provide a debt facility of up to £30m to help scale the MarketInvoice business loans solution that sits alongside its core invoice finance services.

Since 2011, MarketInvoice has funded invoices and business loans to UK companies worth more than £2 billion, making it Europe’s largest online invoice finance platform.

The funding will enable MarketInvoice to expand and increase awareness of its business finance solutions, including the launch of international services.

Anil Stocker, co-founder and chief executive officer of MarketInvoice, said: “The quality of investors we are bringing in through this funding round is a real testament to the whole team at MarketInvoice and the value we are building.

“By collaborating with bank partners, we will be reaching many thousands of companies here in the UK and abroad to provide them with their business finance needs. We aim to invest in technology, data and strategic partnerships, to take MarketInvoice to the next level.”

Santander InnoVentures is Santander’s $200 million fintech venture fund that has invested in artificial intelligence, open banking and innovative customer services.

Since launching in 2014, the fund has invested in 22 companies and has been named as the most active bank-backed fintech corporate venture in the world by CB Insights.

Manuel Silva Martínez, managing partner and head of investments at Santander InnoVentures, said: "MarketInvoice is helping UK businesses access much needed funding to keep their businesses and ideas thriving in a very competitive market. We are pleased to be joining other financial institutions as shareholders to scale their solutions in the UK and abroad. We are very excited to join Anil and his exceptional team in building this vision together."

Ian Rand, chief executive officer of Barclays Business Bank, added: “Collaborating with fintech companies like MarketInvoice is an integral part of Barclays’ strategy for accelerating growth. This investment demonstrates our commitment to the partnership we announced last summer which offers hundreds of thousands of our SME clients access to even more innovative forms of finance, boosting cash flow and competition in the market.”

Last year, digital small business lending pioneer iwoca connected Barclays and HSBC to its platform through Open Banking, giving the finance company connections to three of country’s largest banks after it completed the first ground-breaking agreement with Lloyds Bank.

Barclays also launched free mobile invoicing within its Barclays Mobile Banking app last year, aimed at helping hundreds of thousands of small business owners to create and send invoices on the move.

The latest MarketInvoice partnership is further evidence that alternative finance lending is becoming established as a mainstream component in the financial landscape, according to Ido Vigdor, partner at Viola Credit.

He said: “The awareness, adoption and impact of alternative finance options are increasing rapidly as platforms, such as MarketInvoice, are providing seamless, easy to use, financial services. We are excited to enter the UK market and partner with this exceptional company as it enters to it next phase of growth”.

Viola Credit has backed some of the leading alternative-lending companies such as Behalf, Lendbuzz, Pagaya, and Obligo.

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