We started in 2012, when we noticed a problem: on average, it was taking eight weeks (and a lot of paperwork) for small businesses to apply for a loan. Worse still, more often than not, that process was ending in a ‘no’.
We knew that bakeries, building firms, salons, and solicitors deserved better. They deserve to be able to grow – hire more hands, invest in stock, market themselves – without all the hold music and absurdly rigid criteria.
We’ve now been around for a decade, and in that time, we’ve:
- grown to a team of 290 iwocans
- worked with over 50,000 small businesses across the UK and Germany
- redesigned the whole business loan process from start to finish – our record is three minutes, 26 seconds.
It’s a good start, but it’s just the beginning. Our mission is help one million businesses who need us, so we still have a long way to go.
Here’s what we’ve learned about lending along the way
- Technology is the way to change this space
From automated decisions to API integrations, tech has the potential to create the changes small businesses have been waiting for – so we can’t stop innovating.
- Embedded finance is the future
More and more, we’re reaching customers by embedding our loans within the apps and systems they use everyday. Our partners are people like neobanks, online marketplaces and accountancy software companies.
- Payments and credit are converging
Lots of small businesses struggle with cash flow; often getting invoices paid from their customers months after paying their own bills. Loans can help them pay these bills, but we also want to tackle the problem at its root by improving payment terms.
- New products are always possible
We’re working to create new loans of all shapes and sizes, and we’ve recently launched iwocaPay to help with these cash flow conundrums.
We work hard to make iwoca a place where everyone feels welcome - we want everyone to confidently be themselves. For us, diversity isn't an optional add-on. It's the thing that makes us great.