British software company Sage (SGE.L) is tying up with lenders Funding Circle and MarketInvoice to give its small business customers easier access to alternative sources of funds.

Bank lending in Britain has been weak since the financial crisis and many small businesses have struggled to get finance from traditional lenders.

MarketInvoice, which Sage said on Tuesday would be integrated into its small business accounting package, provides short-term funds against outstanding invoices, licences, contracts and subscriptions.

Funding Circle, meanwhile, is an online marketplace for business loans, where investors lend sums ranging from 5,000 pounds to 1 million pounds (($7,722 to $1.5 million) directly to small businesses in Britain and the United States. Its investors include the British government, financial institutions and 40,000 individuals.

“By partnering with MarketInvoice and Funding Circle, we’re giving small and medium businesses in the UK the ability to swiftly and easily apply for additional funding to support their business development and growth,” Sage executive Lee Perkins said in a statement.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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