Funding Options Limited, trading as Funding Options, is an online marketplace for SME finance based in the United Kingdom. It has been described by British national newspaper The Telegraph as “the matchmaking website for small businesses and lenders”, and claims to have helped small businesses to raise tens of millions of pounds of finance. According to The Financial Times, 68 per cent of loans sourced by Funding Options are from wholesale and debt funds, 18 per cent from crowd funding, peer-to-peer lending and wealthy individuals, and 14% by deposit-taking banks.
Funding Options was founded by current Chief Executive Conrad Ford, who formerly worked for major banks. In 2012, Funding Options was one of the first recipients of a new type of grant from Innovate UK, the United Kingdom's innovation agency, and has latterly featured as a case study of state-supported innovation. Also in 2012, Funding Options was a global finalist in a competition run by SWIFT to identify promising new financial technology firms. Funding Options currently appears on the United Kingdom government’s open data app store.
In July 2015, Funding Options was shortlisted by the British Business Bank for the Bank Referral Scheme which requires traditional banks to refer any SME whose loan has been rejected to an alternative lending platform, as part of 2015 legislation called the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act, and in the Spring 2016 Budget was one of three private sector businesses recommended by HM Treasury for the scheme. The Bank Referral Scheme was launched on 1 November 2016, at which point Funding Options became a designated finance platform.
In April 2015 Funding Options raised £2 million in a mix of ordinary and preference shares from GLI Finance Limited (GLIF), an AIM-listed SME finance specialist. The trademark of Funding Options is registered with the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office.