Asto and Funding Options team up to offer flexible loans to small businesses


Santander’s fintech app, Asto, partners with business finance marketplace Funding Options to provide flexible business capital to early stage startups and SMEs

FieldHouse Associates

Asto Business Capital loans are now available on the Funding Options platform as part of a long-term partnership with the business finance marketplace. The Santander-backed app joins Funding Options’ roster of more than 200 lender partners, offering loans of as little as £150 or as much as £150,000, to help small businesses plug urgent cash flow holes.

With Asto business loans, customers remain in control. Businesses do not need to use the entire credit limit at once, can choose their repayment period between 6 and 12 months, will not incur early repayment fees, and can return to borrow from what’s left whenever an opportunity arises. Asto loans have no minimum turnover threshold, which means even early stage startups can secure funds.

Access to small, business-friendly loans has been enabled by Funding Options’ proprietary technology, which harnesses the power of data analytics, algorithms and new technology enablers such as Open Banking to match companies with the right lending options based on their eligibility and needs. The time saving platform allows businesses to shop around to fulfil short or long term funding needs, whether it’s to grow their business or take advantage of new opportunities.

As UK businesses reopen following the Covid-19 imposed lockdown the need for working capital at short notice will heighten. Last week, thousands of independent businesses and non-essential retailers opened, with the Government planning to allow hospitality and leisure businesses to reopen from the 4th July.

In a climate where small businesses’ finances have come under severe pressure, flexible and lower-cost solutions will prove essential. Funding Options has earned a reputation for helping small businesses access funding fast, with its record for application to approval being just 11 minutes. Similarly, if small business customers are happy with the terms, Asto Business Capital loans typically arrive in accounts in minutes.

Both companies have invested heavily in their hybrid models, combining smart tech with business finance specialists to empower customers to make informed decisions. This powerful combination enables business owners to scope out the best option to help them face the challenging headwinds.

Simon Cureton, CEO at Funding Options comments: “The Funding Options team is incredibly excited to be partnering with Asto – one of a new breed of ambitious & innovative lenders laser-focused on providing truly flexible finance solutions for businesses. At a time when the SME finance sector is facing some huge challenges and is in real need of positive momentum, it is outstanding to see Asto step up to show its commitment to independent UK businesses. In Asto we believe we have a partner that can match our own ambition, together using new technologies to push the boundaries of SME lending as they have been perceived to date.”

Nicolette Maury, CEO of Asto UK, commented: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Funding Options, beginning a long-term relationship that will further our mission to support people as they grow their businesses. At Asto, we understand that no two business’ needs are the same, which is why we’ve designed our Asto Business Capital product to offer business owners flexible financial support. Modern technology allows us to provide innovative solutions that are simple to use and accessible. Working with Funding Options, we are aiming to empower even more businesses to react quickly to the ups and downs in their business.”