Not many companies can boast as prestigious and high profile customers as Luzzo Bespoke with clients such as Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land Rover for starters.
However, when it came to accessing all the funding it required from traditional sources, its prestigious pedigree was not enough. Owner and Managing Director Alan Sawyer, explained: “The banks haven’t shown any interest since the financial crash, unless you are prepared to pledge your house as security – even directors’ personal guarantees are no longer good enough.”
Its latest coup was to be asked to make Holland & Holland gun boxes to slide in the back of special edition Range Rovers bearing the same H & H name – vehicles that cost around £180,000 apiece. “We would not have been able to complete the order without the £100,000 we got from FundingKnight”, said Mr Sawyer.
Commenting on FundingKnight’s reputation for Responsive Lending, Mr Sawyer said: “It was our second FundingKnight loan – the first was for £40,000 – but all I can say is that they were friendly, helped us through every step of the process and we were able to see how the loan auction was progressing on the website. It was an altogether pleasant and interesting experience.”
He added: “The P2P business lending idea is so very necessary for companies like us at the moment and the next time we need some extra funding we will go straight to FundingKnight – we won’t bother going anywhere else.”
After a period of static growth, the company is now looking to make serious headway and will shortly be adding around 10 extra staff to its existing workforce of 30. “Many people have suggested that we subcontract some of the manufacturing work to places like China, but, apart from not compromising the quality of the work with our customer base, we want to provide jobs in this country. That is very much our way.”
Graeme Marshall, Chief Executive of FundingKnight comments: “We are finding more and more small to medium sized businesses like Luzzo Bespoke are looking at peer-to-peer lending to finance their growth. Many of the traditional sources of loans, like banks, use a credit scoring mechanism to decide on lending that many SMEs do not qualify for. At FundingKnight each business is assessed by our lending team after a one-to-one telephone conversation and we look at the business as a whole. If they are successful, we then match the finance they need with investors through our online auction platform. It is the perfect solution for businesses that need finance to growth and investors who are looking for good returns.”