NatWest has extended its first mass market Intellectual Property-backed loan to Sci-Net, a high growth software business based just outside Oxford in Chipping Norton.

Sci-Net, a Microsoft Tier 1 Gold partner, has secured a £700,000 loan from NatWest. The bank’s IP-backed loan will aid the company in growing its already impressive portfolio of customers including national retailer Tapi Carpets, jewellery retailers Missoma and Jessica McCormack, as well as national distributors.

The new High Growth IP Loan from NatWest has been developed with specialist IP valuers Inngot to help unlock the funding gap for high growth firms. Loans start from amounts as low as £250,000 against up to 50% of the value of the firm’s intellectual property – software, patents, copyrights, trademarks and registered designs – as determined by Inngot’s tailored systems and processes.

Founded in 1998, Sci-Net has already established partnerships with multiple tech giants and businesses across the retail, ecommerce-retail and distribution industries. The business aims to support the ongoing development of its ERP>Retail and its ERP>Trade software, which helps customers run their entire business operations. 

“With this loan, we have shown the potential that unlocking value from IP and intangible assets could have for the UK economy, by helping firms to scale, create high value jobs and boost UK productivity,” said Neil Bellamy, head of technology, media and telecoms at NatWest Group.

Childhood friends raise £710k to build credit reference startup

Martin Brassell, chief executive of Inngot, said: “This marks the first time we have seen a UK bank willing to attribute collateral value directly to IP assets, at repayment levels that are highly affordable. The £250,000 starting point makes IP-based funding accessible to growth companies at real scale.

“It rewards UK SMEs for investing in IP, and I believe it will help more companies to realise the importance and value of a strong IP strategy. I can’t think of a better way to encourage SMEs to take IP more seriously than to show them that they can borrow against its value.”

Duncan Fergusson, managing director of Sci-Net, said: “Accepting this loan from NatWest is a fantastic opportunity to facilitate road mapping and growing the software further so we’re able to work with more businesses across various sectors.”

SME lender Capify secures £100m credit facility