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FinTech Swoop says it expects to grow a huge 450% this year amid a surge in demand for SME financing.

The London firm has raised £5.4 million in a Series A funding round which Andrea Reynolds, CEO and co-founder, says will be used to expand into new markets, with a particular focus on North America. 

The fast-growing FinTech is targeting the US through its existing operations in Canada and this follows the recent establishment of an Australian operation, in addition to its offices in the UK and Ireland.

More than 75,000 businesses have used Swoop’s software platform to investigate and access a wide range of funding sources, including equity, grants, loans and tax credits. Founded in 2017, Swoop will have 80 staff by the end of the summer, up from 60 at present.

The Series A funding round includes investment from the venture capital group Velocity, Arab Bank Ventures, IAG and WeHo Ventures in California. Velocity is an existing investor in Swoop, alongside other early backers including UK private investors and Enterprise Ireland.

“Access to finance is the number one issue facing SMEs, but they have traditionally been an underserved customer segment,” said Reynolds. 

“Finance is data-driven and borderless. With the influx of new lenders into the market, Swoop is able to connect SMEs with the funding they need wherever they are in the world. To date we’ve helped our customers secure £500m to grow their businesses.”

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Rajeev Saxena, CEO of Velocity, said it was pleased to support the continued expansion of Swoop: “Andrea and the team at Swoop have executed strongly on their potential since we first invested in the company in 2018. We are excited to see them take their vision to new markets.”

Swoop continues to enhance its technology and proposition, aggregating banking, accounting and credit data so that business owners, advisors and brokers can quickly understand and apply for the products available to them.

Swoop is a chosen partner to all the major banks in the UK and has partnerships with business bodies including the British Chambers of Commerce and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. 

It says it was instrumental in distributing hundreds of millions of pounds in Bounce Back loans to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.