Fintech star joins Escalate dispute resolution platform

Fintech star joins Escalate dispute resolution platform

Fast-growing Fintech business Capitalise.com has become the latest professional services business to join Escalate, the ground-breaking commercial dispute resolution service for SMEs.

Capitalise.com, an online funding platform, has become the latest new Escalate partner in the past few weeks, following the recent agreement signed with leading peer-to-peer lender ArchOver.

Other Escalate partners include accountants PKF, Haines Watts and Price Bailey; law firms Bermans and Moore Blatch; and insurance claims mediation specialist Flaxmans.

Capitalise’s online platform enables SMEs to compare a broad selection of finance products from the UK’s leading mainstream, alternative and independent lenders.  Capitalise works with professional advisers such as accountants to help match businesses with lenders that can not only provide the finance they need but also have a proven track record of funding similar sized companies in the same sector.  Capitalise has sent its lenders in excess of 6,000 enquiry forms and works in partnership with over 450 accountancy firms.

Escalate, which was launched earlier this year, helps SMEs to achieve a prompt settlement to a wide range of commercial disputes, with fixed fees payable only on a successful outcome and no upfront costs.

It does so by focusing on a negotiated settlement, using licenced corporate recovery specialists with a track record of rapidly recovering assets to negotiate on behalf of the claimant, and encouraging the defendant to settle quickly in the client’s favour without the need for litigation.  The process allows a maximum of three months for this negotiation.  If the defendant is unwilling to settle in this timeframe, solicitors acting on a fully conditional basis will begin preparing for litigation.  As part of the service, all fees and associated costs are funded and paid on the client’s behalf all the way up to a High Court resolution, with the adverse costs risk indemnified by an insurance policy.

This contrasts with the traditional commercial dispute resolution process that typically takes 18 months; is often billed by the hour; can require the payment of disbursements, such as court fees or the costs of an expert, up front; and leaves the claimant at risk from large legal bills from its advisers and exposure to the defendant’s costs in the event of an unsuccessful outcome.

Chris Clay, one of the architects of the Escalate process, said: “Pursuing a commercial dispute has tended to be a costly, lengthy and risky undertaking.  It’s hardly surprising, then, that many businesses decide against making a claim and reluctantly write-off what they are owed.  Escalate is changing that by providing a smarter way for businesses to resolve commercial disputes.

"We’re seeing considerable demand from SMEs for the Escalate platform so it’s important that we continue to expand our partner network to keep pace.

Capitalise is a natural fit for us not only because it is a proven innovator, but also because it understands the importance of cashflow management in SME businesses.”

Paul Surtees, Founder of Capitalise, said: “Capitalise and Escalate share a common goal: helping SMEs to access capital.  We’ve developed complimentary solutions – an online comparison of finance options from mainstream and independent lenders, and a process for releasing cash that is locked up in unresolved disputes – and it makes sense for us to work together to help businesses secure the resources they need to survive and grow, both directly and via our large network of accounting firms. 

“Businesses have hundreds of options to choose from when they need to access capital, but 50% of SMEs only contact one finance provider when looking for funding.  Capitalise and Escalate are here to help businesses make sense of these options.

“Escalate is going to be a game-changer for SMEs, and Capitalise is pleased to be one of the earliest adopters of the new platform.”