Digital finance platform Funding Options has appointed Malcolm Leach as CTO.

The London firm is aiming to bridge the SME funding gap by providing businesses with the best finance options on the market, at speed and powered by technology. 

It launched its Funding Cloud platform in April 2021 and last month introduced Funding Cloud: Connect, expanding this offering to intermediaries such as accountants and business advisors. 

Funding Cloud is described as the first real-time lending platform for SMEs and claims to take just 20 seconds from loan application to credit approval, with time from application to funds in the bank of just 18 minutes.

Leach has nearly three decades as a technology leader, during which he has founded successful software businesses, created innovative new products and transformed technology teams for many leading organisations. 

He has held senior technology roles at Universal Music Group, Cap Gemini, Swiss Life AG, Virgin Media, iCrossing and joins Funding Options after three years at another high growth, market leading UK fintech.

“We are delighted to welcome Malcolm to the team, as we close our most successful quarter since the crisis began, moving closer to our target of facilitating £1 billion in vital finance for SMEs,” said Simon Cureton, CEO. 

“As a highly experienced CTO, Malcolm joins us as we continue to realise the opportunities presented by Funding Cloud –  in particular how we are able to optimise data for the ecosystem and drive further auto-decisioning benefits as more alternative lenders embrace open banking and embedded finance to support SMEs.”

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Leach added: “SMEs are critical to the economy but have been historically underserved when it comes to accessing finance. As UK businesses look to recover from Covid whilst also managing inflationary forces, access to fast and appropriate business finance has never been more important. 

“I am excited to be joining Funding Options at this critical time, helping the SME ecosystem to take full advantage of the innovation provided by Funding Cloud and working closely with our panel of more than 120 active lenders to enable businesses and their advisers to have the fastest access to the funds they need.”