SME finance provider Iwoca has announced its ambitions to lend over £200m to small businesses before 31 January 2021, when the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) applications close.

One of Europe’s largest small business lenders, iwoca has already surpassed the £100m threshold in CBILS lending. Of this, 83% of approvals through the scheme have been awarded to new customers.

In order to meet this target, iwoca hopes to double the existing figure of £100m over the next three months. Consequently, the firm has also increased its maximum available loan value from £500,000 to £750,000.

Since launching its CBILS offering in May, iwoca has increased the proportion of total scheme approvals, rising from 1.6% in August to 5.6% in October. The latest analysis of figures from the Treasury shows that iwoca approved one in every 18 of all loans via the scheme in the last month.

As businesses brace for a second national lockdown, iwoca’s financial solutions will enable firms to access the finance they need in the face of growing economic pressure.

Michael Elalouf, CFO at iwoca, said: “Small business owners have had an incredibly tough year, and we’re grateful that we’ve been able to play our part in helping them to get through this crisis.

“With the recent CBILS extension, our focus is now on reaching as many business owners as possible who think they could benefit from Government backed finance. iwoca stands ready to help those customers who are struggling to get the support they need from the high street banks during this time.”

The firm has also revealed that its invoice payments product – iwocaPay – can be accessed free of charges until 2 December, the end of the UK’s second national lockdown.

IwocaPay enables sellers to get paid upfront while letting customers spread costs over 90 days.

Garry Barker, managing director of Dream Developments – a property development and construction company – explained the importance of the CBILS scheme, available through iwoca: “We develop commercial premises for local businesses. Pre-pandemic we had big expansion plans but these were shelved due to the lack of mainstream funding. We’d have never been able to pivot the business and go down this path if it were not for the government schemes and of course iwoca. Being able to invest this way helps our business, local businesses and the general public at a very difficult time.”

Iwoca is an accredited asset-based CBILS lender. Through the scheme, iwoca receives a government-backed guarantee for loan repayments in order to encourage more lending.