Belfast Telegraph

Belfast finance provider secures backing from US investor

Judith Totten
Judith Totten

By Staff Reporter

An alternative finance provider has said it's gearing up for "significant" growth after securing the backing of a US investor.

Upstream, which is based in Belfast and provides invoice and trade finance, said it expects funding levels to triple over the next year.

Co-founder and managing director Judith Totten said trade finance was a viable alternative for many SMEs.

"Put simply it bridges a gap where organisations require additional funding quickly to deliver orders beyond their current capability," she said.

The identity of the investor has not been disclosed, but Ms Totten (right) said new backing had been secured from "an ambitious US-based debt and equity fund which specialises in financial services and funding receivables".

The Upstream chief said she expected to increase staff numbers as a result of the investment, which she said also opened up potential to expand in the Republic. She added: "As a result of the uncertainty around Brexit, banks are continuing to take a conservative view on lending.

"Our mission is to get cash into the hands of finance directors and managing directors to enable them to do the deals that are right for their businesses and to benefit from whatever terms they can negotiate as a result of being able to pay quicker."

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Upstream said it could now provide individual funding lines of up to £2.5m "and potentially well beyond in the case of acquisition funding".

The funder has financed deals across several sectors including technology, health and electrical wholesale.

Belfast Telegraph