Former Funding Circle exec raises £7m for SME lending start-up Triver

A former executive at Funding Circle, the London-listed finance group, has raised millions of pounds to launch a digital platform that promises to give small businesses instant credit decisions.

Sky News understands that Jerome Le Luel, who spent nearly seven years as Funding Circle’s chief risk officer and head of lending strategy, is close to unveiling details of Triver, a start-up venture.

He also held senior roles at Barclays and at Capital One.

Triver, which will initially focus on the UK market, will use Open Banking data to provide a digital service to help fund SMEs’ working capital requirements.

It is expected to launch in the next couple of months.

People close to the company said it was being backed by Stride, which has backed early-stage businesses such as Deliveroo and Rightmove.

Other backers include Axeleo Capital and Motive Partners, with scout investment from Silicon Valley giants Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital.

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Its board members include Dan Cobley, a former Google UK managing director, and co-founder of the UK fintechs ClearScore and Salary Finance.

Triver has been set up to address the structural challenges confronting SMEs, such as unfavourable payment terms, volatile sales trends and a lack of financial management expertise.

Mr Le Luel is understood to have pitched Triver to prospective investors as a business that will help to fill a void left by the major UK high street banks, which have not prioritised underwriting SME credit risk.

Triver will provide advances on SMEs’ customer invoices, and is understood to be pledging to do so at a more competitive rate than conventional short-term finance solutions.

It intends to utilise Open Banking data, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital processing, and use transaction-level insights to understand the likelihood of a business meeting repayment obligations.

One source said Triver would work with digital service providers that SMEs already engage with to manage their finances, such as accounting platforms, digital banks and payment providers.

Triver declined to comment.

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