For all the transformative potential of new breakout financial technology, fintech companies have frequently struggled to gain access to the investor capital necessary to survive and thrive. Small businesses in particular have suffered from the so-called finance gap, estimated by a World Bank study to be $3 trillion and growing rapidly.
Of course, where there is a problem, savvy entrepreneurs can find an opportunity. Small businesses’ difficulty finding trade capital is exactly the issue that Greg Karpovsky created Stenn to solve: the platform is set up to process applications for trade finance from small businesses around the world, connecting them to developed capital markets in as little as two days.
“We saw there is a very large market of small businesses engaged in international trade and the digital economy who are dramatically underserved by the banks,” said Karpovsky, Stenn’s Founder and CEO, in an interview. “I learned there was an opportunity more than 20 years ago, so I started solving this issue in local markets. I’m now trying to grow this idea on a global scale.”
As might be imagined, Stenn’s ambitious goal has attracted no shortage of financial partners. Backers including Barclays and HSBC have enabled the company to facilitate approximately $10 billion in financing since its founding, with greater expansion of its client base and technological infrastructure expected in the near future.