Caple supports the growth of iPLATO and its “myGP” app – the most downloaded medical app in the UK in 2019
Unsecured lending helps SMEs without physical assets to grow
Alternative SME credit specialist Caple has helped iPLATO, the UK HealthTech company, to access a multimillion pound eight-year unsecured loan. Caple offers access to unsecured lending of up to £5m.
iPLATO, which simplifies access to healthcare for millions of people with its “myGP” platform and app, will use the loan to invest in its technology and marketing. This will enable it to grow in the UK and to launch internationally. The business will also develop new products and services to enhance the experience for patients, doctors and the NHS.
iPLATO is one of the 100 fastest-growing private tech companies in the UK as ranked in The Sunday Times Tech Track. Through its myGP platform, iPLATO connects 25m people with more than 6,500 GP practices and 12,000 pharmacies in the UK. It has ambitious growth plans and aims to increase its 1.5m myGP app users to 10m users in the UK next two years.
Firms such as iPLATO can find access to secured lending a challenge because their business is based on intangible assets, such as intellectual property. Banks generally need tangible assets to put up as security for loans, so raising additional finance for growth was not open to them.
Sean Brophy, UK country manager of Caple, said:
“Many successful businesses are growing by developing intangible assets such as intellectual property or services. However, while banks can lend against the tangible assets in a business, they can only do so up to the value of those physical assets available as collateral. After that, they cannot help.
“This creates a barrier to growth and may force businesses to issue equity instead of raising debt. iPLATO had this issue and had considered, but did not want to give up, equity. Now, with our unsecured funding deal, iPLATO can implement its ambitious growth plans and achieve its goals without having to resort to equity funding.”
Martin Rowden, CFO of iPLATO, said:
“Our aim is to transform healthcare by making it easier for patients to better organise their and their family’s healthcare. To do so, we need funding that reflects our ambitions. While equity funding was a possible option, it was expensive, failed to match our vision, and we did not want to dilute our ownership.
“This deal with Caple is ideal for our business as it enables us to develop new products and services to achieve our growth targets. We have achieved significant user growth and we want to keep our foot on the gas to reach 10m users in the next two years. There is a significant appetite for digital first healthcare services both in the UK and internationally and we aim to meet this demand.”
iPLATO is an innovative software as a service healthcare business connecting patients, GPs and Clinical Commissioning Groups. Employing 75 people, the business has more than ten years in healthcare. In 2019, the platform supported 100 million interactions with patients ranging from appointment bookings to video consultations.
Customers include public healthcare bodies such as the NHS England, NHS Wales and Clinical Commissioning Groups. Services offered also include patient engagement, prescription ordering, intelligent care navigation and remote consultation.
iPLATO has strong growth pipeline as a result of both a government and sector focus on using technology to promote better patient outcomes, transform the patient experience and deliver efficiencies.
Caple is the UK’s first firm to offer access to long-term unsecured lending of up to £5m based on the future cash flows of the SME. It requires no collateral or personal guarantees as security. The loans also work alongside existing bank lending, meaning firms can have access to more funding than they would get from their bank alone, but allows them to maintain their existing bank relationship.
Caple’s technology platform supports a network of accountants and financial advisors to SMEs that use it to identify suitable borrowers and create the materials used in the process. This enables an efficient and robust credit process.
The loans Caple facilitates are part of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s SME Alternative Financing direct lending platform, which enables SMEs to access funding from institutional investors. BNP Paribas Asset Management aims to provide €1bn per year in funding to SMEs across Europe.
For more information, please contact:
Caple: [email protected] or 07793 021 607
Notes to editors
Caple has opened direct financing from the world’s largest institutional investors to European SMEs. A proprietary technology platform supports an efficient end to end credit process combining origination by local partner networks of accountancy and advisory firms with assessment by experienced country credit teams.
Caple’s technology also ensures transparency and standardisation, allowing institutions to create and invest in portfolios of SME credit. For more information, please visit caple.eu
About BNP Paribas Asset Management
BNP Paribas Asset Management is the asset management arm of BNP Paribas, one of the world’s foremost financial institutions, and offers high value-added solutions to individual savers, companies, and institutional investors. It has a broad range of skills in four investment divisions: Equities, Fixed Income, Private Debt & Real Assets, and Multi-Asset, Quantitative and Solutions (MAQS). Sustainability is at the heart of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s strategy and investment decision-making process, making an active contribution to energy transition, environmental protection and the promotion of equality and inclusive growth. Its aim is to achieve long-term sustainable investment returns for its clients. BNP Paribas Asset Management has assets under management of EUR 436 billion* (as at 30 September 2019), more than 520 investment professionals and almost 500 client servicing specialists, serving individual, corporate and institutional clients in 69 countries.
EUR 589 billion of assets under management and advisory as at 30 September 2019. For more information about BNP Paribas Asset Management, please visit bnpparibas-am.com. For more information about BNP Paribas Asset Management’s SME Alternative Financing platform, please visit smealternativefinancing.bnpparibas-am.com.