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Aldermore speak to Mint Digital about SME lending

POSTED: 21st May 2013
IN: Business news
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Mint Digital was founded eight years ago by Andy Bell and Noam Sohachevsky.

The London-based company employs 35 staff members and is responsible for a number of high-profile products, notably StickyGram and Foldable.Me, international businesses which have generated substantial praise from consumers and extensive coverage from traditional media outlets. The products have also gained attention from online publications such as The Next Web, as well as prominent bloggers across the web.

The team at Aldermore came across Mint Digital after an article from the company's co-founder Andy Bell on TechCityNews. At Aldermore, we're always keen to speak to SMEs about their experiences of applying for bank funding and, below you can hear our interview with David Biggs, CFO of the company, about the issues the business faced when approaching banks for additional capital.

"One of the biggest issues we had," says David, "was getting banks to understand our business and [them] thinking that we were more risky than we actually were."

"We'd been trading for five years as an agency and they still thought there was an inherent risk involved."

David's comments echo the concerns of thousands of UK SMEs, many of whom have been rejected for finance because of the nature of their industry or reluctance from banks to lend to businesses operating in an unfamiliar market.  In David's case, there was a 'struggle to understand the agency business model and how it could be successful.'

This problem, explains David, was compounded with a constant change in personnel at the bank. During his time at Mint Digital, David has dealt with four different business managers on the account.

"You spend a lot of time getting someone to try and understand your business and, then six months later, you've got another person, which isn't really helpful."

Currently, both Stickygram and Foldable.Me are generating regular revenue streams for David and the business and both products have been well received by consumers in both the United Kingdom and abroad. Speaking about the success of the businesses, David says:

"We started those businesses about a year and a half ago, and we've grown them and we've been relatively successful with these businesses. Had we access to the capital earlier on in that business, we could have invested more heavily in marketing staff at and earlier period in the product curve.

"As successful as these businesses are, I think they could be a lot further ahead."

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  • Business
  • SME
  • Article
  • Interview

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