LiftForward, one of the leading companies in alternative small business finance announced today that it has secured credit facilities totaling up to $250 million from entities managed by Varadero Capital and from GLI Finance (AIM: GLIF). Based in Manhattan, LiftForward provides businesses with asset backed and working capital loans. The company will use the funds to accelerate and expand the growth of its small business financing programs through its partnerships. As part of its participation in the credit facility, the Varadero entities received rights to acquire equity in LiftForward.
LiftForward has seen a surge in loan requests over the past 6 months. According to Jeffrey Rogers, CEO of LiftForward, “Banks continue to abandon the under $1,000,000 loan product. When you combine this supply cutoff with the expanding demand for capital from small businesses, there is significant need for our product. This transaction allows us to further meet the demand we are receiving and welcome an award-winning hedge fund manager, Varadero, to our syndicate.” Fernando Guerrero, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Varadero Capital, L.P., said, “LiftForward’s initiative will help small business owners all over the country grow their business in the face of a challenging debt market for small entities. We’re proud to support these efforts.”
Geoff Miller, Chief Executive of GLI Finance, said: “Since we invested in LiftForward, its business proposition has become ever more relevant as US banks continue to withdraw from SME lending. I am delighted that we can provide further support to LiftForward and, in turn, expand our exposure to the US market.”
LiftForward operates a marketplace loan platform which provides loans to small businesses and high yielding debt products to investors. Investors on the platform range from asset managers to hedge funds. Small businesses are able to borrow up to $1 million per transaction for asset purchases or working capital. LiftForward partners with suppliers, retailers and manufacturers in order to provide financing to their small business customers. LiftForward’s technology combined with its fundamental underwriting expertise allows it to make a lending decision within minutes. LiftForward’s machine learning technology produces an alternative FICO-like score for each business that applies for financing. Our proprietary credit models look deeper into the health of businesses, focusing on overall business performance, rather than just the owner’s personal credit history.
About Varadero Capital, L.P.
Varadero Capital, L.P. is an alternative investment management firm that seeks to capitalize on opportunistic, credit-based investments across specialized credit markets. The Firm has directed value-driven investments across a wide variety of sectors in these markets since its inception in 2009. Varadero currently manages in excess of $1 billion in discretionary capital for a global investor base that includes pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, HNW/family offices and private banks. Varadero and the vehicles it manages have been named “Best Relative Value Credit Fund” at the 2014 Investors Choice Awards, “Best Credit Fund” for 2013 and 2014 by S&P Capital IQ, and presented the “Award for Excellence in Capital Preservation” at the 2014 Alternative Investment Awards. Varadero is based in New York, NY. Varadero recently launched a partnership with Lending Club and Citigroup designed to provide more affordable consumer credit to underserved borrowers and communities.
About GLI Finance Limited
GLI Finance (http://www.glifinance.com) is a specialist provider of finance to small and medium sized enterprises and is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. GLI Finance both invests in loans to SMEs and originates finance for SMEs through a variety of finance platforms. The platforms in which GLI Finance is invested vary by geography, industry, size of lending and by type of lending. They include global trade finance, UK and US SME lending, offshore lending, UK invoice discounting, European invoice discounting, global multi-asset crowd funding, and UK property-backed lending.
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Dr. Louise Beaumont
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