Tell us about yourself?
Both myself and my co-founder Ciaran Burke spent many years helping SMEs raise finance throughout their journey – so they knew what they needed more than anything was the ability to simplify and speed up the process they go through to access grants, loans, and equity investment, as well as find savings they need to survive and build their businesses.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Swoop was founded because we listened to our customers and realised that the market needed it. Swoop is a platform matching 1000+ providers of finance and savings to SMEs in a hassle-free, time-saving way. SMEs can quickly see their funding options, as well as identify savings on expenditure such as utilities, foreign exchange and bank accounts.
What is your magic sauce?
Everything that happens in Swoop happens because of our two values: empathy and integrity. We listen to customers, hear what they need and do the right thing. For example, listening to the needs of brokers has prompted us to develop Swoop for Brokers which gives the industry an automated solution to finding financial products for their customers.
Where do you see your company going in 5 years?
Swoop has opened offices in Ireland, the UK and Australia. Our Canadian office opens on 1 November 2021 and we will be launching in the United States in 2022. In five years, signing up to Swoop will be as much a part of starting a business as opening a bank account and buying a URL.
What has been your biggest setback so far?
We haven’t won every pitch for investment. But setbacks often show us where weaknesses are. Starting and growing an SME is hard. If anything, this only gives us a greater understanding of the sector in which we are working, the difficulties SMEs face and the flexible thinking sometimes needed to overcome obstacles.
What has been your biggest win so far?
Swoop was a winner of the Open Banking Challenge set by the nine major UK banks with an award of £350,000 and was also a winning recipient of the Banking Competition Remedies Fund with an award of £5m. At a crucial time for Swoop, these awards gave us the funds and contacts we needed to grow.
What is the next big challenge for your business?
Opening successfully in Canada and the US will be our priorities for 2022; growing the Swoop for Brokers and Swoop for Advisors brands will also be important to our larger mission.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
SME owners should register at www.swoopfunding.com to find out more about the funding for which they are eligible, the savings they could make across a range of financial products and keep up to date on government help for SMEs as we emerge from the pandemic.