Alternative finance specialist BELFAST Upstream is now part of the London-based specialist finance group Cubitt Trade Holdings, which its owner says is “a game changer” for the company.
This means that Upstream, the only private provider of working capital in the North to the SME and corporate sectors, becomes one of only five independent finance companies in the UK and Ireland that are part of Cubitt.
But Upstream, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, will keep its corporate DNA, its name, and will strengthen its Irish team as part of the operation.
“Having the support of such an important investment partner is a real change for Upstream,” said founder Judith Totten MBE.
“For a decade we have been known to provide working capital to growth-oriented SMEs and, while this will continue to be an integral part of our offering, we are now able to support much larger corporate transactions for businesses that may have existing banking relationships but require an additional line of finance, which can act as an innovative part but an integral part of the client’s overall finance program.
“Thanks to Cubitt, we will now continue an aggressive growth program across the island of Ireland which will also include acquisitions if the right opportunities present themselves.”
She added, “Our operating model will continue as before and there will be no disruption to our systems or our customers. We now simply have the freedom and support to scale up our growth plans across Ireland. The agility, flexibility and empathy our clients have always enjoyed will not change.
“Upstream has a stable, engaged and exceptionally well capitalized financing and equity partner, with a demonstrable appetite to grow and develop a bigger and stronger business across Ireland. We have partners who reflect and support our ambitions, and I hope we can help our existing and new customers even more than before.
Upstream sales manager Alan Wardlow said the timing of the new partnership couldn’t have been better.
“The landscape of SME and corporate finance is changing dramatically, and the impact of Brexit and the pandemic has accelerated these changes. For many companies, it is no longer a question of approaching a bank and looking for a simple overdraft or a term debt.
“Their needs are often much more complex than that and require a tiered funding approach if they are to maximize their working capital potential. In particular, the Upstream will seek to finance the needs of the supply chain of companies as well as its traditional financing of invoices, on a stand-alone or end-to-end basis, thus supporting the cash cycle from start to finish.
“With the post-pandemic economic recovery now starting to take shape and traditional banks taking a more cautious approach to lending, our new relationship with Cubitt means that we can truly achieve our goal of enabling ‘fearless growth’ among businesses as a means of stimulating economic recovery across the island. “