London, United Kingdom (UK)-based embedded finance platform Liberis is launching its offering to small businesses in Canada.
Through Liberis, Vagaro Capital is offering SMBs up to $150,000 in financing, with payments being taken as a percentage of revenue.
Liberis began its Canadian expansion last week through a partnership with Vagaro, a business management platform in the beauty, wellness, and fitness industries. Through the partnership, Vagaro has launched Vagaro Capital, which will offer small business owners in the United States, UK, and Canada fixed-cost financing with flexible payment terms, according to Liberis.
“By expanding into Canada, we are furthering our mission to alleviate the strain which [the] lack of funding has on SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) and local economies globally,” Liberis CEO Rob Straathof said in a statement. “This expansion is a testament to our commitment to expand into every market across the globe and ensure that SMBs can access the funding they need when they need it.”
Founded in 2007, Liberis is a global embedded finance platform that aims to provide small businesses with financing solutions. The company claims it has provided over $1 billion in funding through its 25 strategic partners that have direct reach to more than 1 million small businesses.
Through Liberis’ platform, Vagaro Capital is offering SMBs up to $150,000 in financing, with payments being taken as a percentage of revenue. With Liberis, partners run the entire financing approval and underwriting process within their own ecosystem.
The Canadian expansion follows Liberis securing $112 million in debt financing from HSBC Innovation Banking and BCI Capital in early December 2023. The funding was intended to support Liberis’ growth in North America and Europe through expansion into new markets, which included Canada, Poland, and Germany.
The demand for financing from Canadian small businesses has increased in the last decade. The number of SMBs seeking financing jumped from35 percent in 2012 to 58 percent in 2022, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
These financing challenges have been compounded in recent weeks as the January 18 deadline to repay loans from the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program came to pass. The program gave struggling businesses loans of up to $60,000 in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, only 28 percent of businesses that took the CEBA loan have paid it back, while 66 percent said they would be able to pay it back by the end of 2026. The crunch has led domestic FinTech lenders and major banks to offer CEBA refinancing options to their clients.
Now that Liberis is in Canada, the company said it will continue with its global expansion into Germany, Poland, Norway, and Iceland in the first half of 2024.
Feature image courtesy Liberis.