Praetura Group (Praetura), the North West-based debt and equity capital provider to small and medium sized businesses, has launched a custom-built tech platform to enhance its SME lending process. The platform will help more SMEs access funding from Praetura faster through their broker partners.
Praeview (pronounced ‘preview’) will double Praetura’s total capacity for the number of businesses it can support in the next 12 months. Designed to deliver quicker and more accurate lending decisions at scale, Praeview is the first tech platform of its kind in the UK alternative finance industry, with no other lender developing a bespoke platform with this level of technical capability combined with significant first party data.
The platform aggregates individual and SME financial data from over 15 sources, correlating it to sectors, asset classes and economic conditions.
Using this data, Praeview provides underwriters and decision makers with an accurate risk profile for each individual or SME that applies for finance and a bespoke score to inform the terms of each deal.
Every deal is always viewed and assessed on an individual basis and this service will not change. Instead, through the introduction of the Praeview platform, more time is now available for the credit and risk teams to assess and restructure options to better suit an SME’s particular circumstances.
Praeview is also capable of plugging into software used by banks, institutions, and brokers via the tool’s application programming interface (API), providing seamless data entry and end-to-end risk monitoring with real-time alerts.
In the initial months of testing, the platform has enabled SME clients to access funding more than four times faster, and by integrating with its broker partners, the Praetura team can offer greater oversight and certainty of funding throughout the application process.
The tech was built in-house at Praetura by the company’s head of technology Ruta Makunaite, who utilised over 25 years of SME lending data and expertise from the five Praetura lending businesses.
Peadar O’Reilly, CEO of the Praetura Lending Division and co-founder of Praetura Group, said: “At Praetura we have always taken an entrepreneurial approach to lending by putting SMEs first and making funding available quicker than other lenders. The challenge, however, is balancing this with risk assessments and the checks and balances we need to carry out.
“We’re now able to lend and make lending decisions faster than ever before thanks to Praeview. We’re aiming to create a new standard within the finance sector that will complement the essential work that banks, underwriters and brokers do. This is part of our ongoing commitment to help UK SMEs get access to the finance they need to succeed.”
Ruta Makunaite, Praetura Group’s Head of Technology, said: “With Praeview, our mission is to empower the people tasked with lending decisions and monitoring risk rather than replacing them, which is what the narrative around tech solutions is focused on in a lot of instances right now. Drawing on 20 years of data and our own expertise, we have created a powerful solution that will inevitably lead more SMEs to get the funding they need.”
The launch of Praeview follows considerable growth for the Praetura Group. The group now employs more than 150 people across the North West, and grew its lending division with the acquisition of Zodeq in 2022. Last year, Praetura Commercial Finance was also named as the third most active UK M&A lender on in Experian’s 2022 market report.