Working capital provider Blackstar Capital has closed a pilot of its real-time receivables finance product, as part of its bid to plug the funding gap for SMEs.

Blackstar claims to have deployed £101.8mn and funded over 55,000 invoices between 2021 and April this year, focusing on UK domestic suppliers.

It says it has partnered with “one of the world’s largest supply chain digitisation platforms” and worked with the suppliers of large enterprise buyers like the UK’s National Health Service, Kuehne + Nagel and DHL.

Onboarded suppliers upload invoices to a partner platform, the information is passed on to Blackstar, which runs eligibility checks and, if the transaction is authorised, suppliers are paid within minutes via the Faster Payments service.

“We believe we have created a world-first, working capital product, utilising the vast amounts of supply chain data that reside with our platform partners, to make smart, data-driven funding decisions in a risk-controlled manner, testament to which is a loss rate of just 0.014%,” says Blackstar chief executive Mark Stephens.

The product cuts down on a waiting time of between 45 and 90 days, Blackstar says.

Stephens adds that the pilot has become a project that is now being rolled out with other large platforms.

“We have another three major platform partnerships signed with an aggregate invoice value across those platforms of over US$5tn per annum,” Stephens says, noting that these are due to go live in the coming weeks.