UK tech SMEs prepare to grow with funding in 2015, research from Crunch reveals

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Crunch research finds banks and financial institutions the main funding route, despite a quarter turned down for banking support

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a quarter (25%) of applications were rejected by banks and 34% were rejected by financial institutions

Technology SMEs are planning to expand in 2015, with a third (32%) of small IT companies planning to apply for funding in the new financial year to meet growth plans, finds a new survey from online bookkeeping service Crunch

Traditional funding methods remain the most popular avenue amongst SMEs, with 41% of business owners applying to banks and 42% applying to a finance institution, such as the First Enterprise Business Agency or regional community finance institutions.

Crowdfunding was the solution for 16% of businesses, while 26% turned to private investment, including angel investors and venture capital investment.

Less popular funding routes included private investment from family and friends (13%) and Government grants and support schemes (9%).

But while the results show business optimism is high, financial institutions are still far from relaxed about lending.

Of the SMEs that applied for funding in the last 12 months, a quarter (25%) of applications were rejected by banks and 34% were rejected by financial institutions.

Private investors, including venture capitalists turned away more than quarter of all applications (26%), family and friends rejected 10%, while 11% of businesses were unsuccessful when applying for government grants and schemes.

Darren Fell, MD of Crunch Accounting, says: “This research proves what many SMEs have long understood – the business climate is changing and the tech industry in particular is looking to grow. The success and extension of the Startup Loans scheme shows that many entrepreneurs out there are looking for funding. However, without the proper lending support from banks and financial institutions, it’s almost impossible for small companies to meet their true potential."

Crunch Accounting is the UK’s first and fastest-growing online accountant, combining a team of expert in-house accountants available on-demand with simple online accounting software.

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The survey by Crunch Accounting polled 500 IT workers located across the UK. Full results below:

Questions:

1. Has your IT business sought funding in the past 12 month?

  •     Yes – 11%
  •     Yes, and we plan to do so again in the next 12 months – 26%
  •     No – 40%
  •     No, but we plan to seek funding in the next 12 months - 6.4%
  •     I don't know / not applicable – 16.6%

2. If yes, where did you secure that funding?

  •     Bank loan – 41%
  •     Alternative loan from finance institution (e.g. First Enterprise Business Agency, regional community finance institution) – 42%
  •     Crowd-funding – 16%
  •     Private investment - angel investors/ venture capital investment – 26%
  •     Private investment - friends and family – 13%
  •     Government grants/support schemes – 9%
  •     Other – 2%

3. Did you get rejected by any of the funding sources approached? If so, tick which ones rejected your application

  •     Bank loan – 25%
  •     Alternative loan from finance institution (e.g. First Enterprise Business Agency, regional community finance institution) – 34%
  •     Private investment - angel investors/ venture capital investment – 26%
  •     Private investment - friends and family – 10%
  •     Government grants/support schemes – 11%

About Crunch Accounting (http://www.crunch.co.uk)
Crunch is the UK's first and fastest-growing online accountant, combining a team of expert in-house accountants available on-demand with simple online accounting software. Designed specifically for freelancers, contractors and small businesses, Crunch is more than just an accountancy firm – it’s everything you need to manage your finances.

Crunch Accounting was co-founded by online entrepreneur Darren Fell and Accountancy Director Steve Crouch, with investment from Bebo co-founder Paul Birch and former Skype CEO Michael van Swaaij.

Crunch is a UK Top 100 accountancy firm, and one of only two firms in the UK to offer an on-site training academy. In 2014 Crunch was named as one of four firms selected nationally by industry body IPSE as offering an outstanding service for freelancers.

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