Nav Buys Nuula to Help Firms Check Finances

Financial health platform Nav Technologies has acquired small business finance app Nuula.

The deal, announced Thursday (Jan. 26), adds a number of mobile app features to Nav’s solutions for small businesses, helping them compare financing options using actual data.

“As the country faces an economic downturn, banks and lending partners have pulled out of the small business financing space due to complexity and risk,” Nav said in a news release. “With fewer options, higher rates and an opaque process, small business owners need an objective platform to manage their ongoing financial health more than ever.”

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, will integrate Nuula’s staff into the Nav workforce. The acquisition will help Nav accelerate the development of its mobile app “and create a better tool for the underserved small business population,” the release said.

The deal came on the same day that PYMNTS noted a number of other companies announcing partnerships, personnel changes and product rollouts all centered around the same notion: helping small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) access capital amid an economic downturn.

For example, the Dutch payments provider Mollie named a new CEO as it works on building its financial services offering for SMBs.

The FinTech Foro debuted a new platform that matches SMBs to lenders, while Grasshopper, an SMB-focused digital bank, announced a partnership with MANTL.

Recent research by PYMNTS has shown that SMBs are in a race to seek out new sources of working capital as they find themselves faced with higher supplier and operating costs.

“The pressure to find the right working capital solution is increasing, with one survey finding that big banks’ approval rate for business loans dipped to just below 15%, a 10-month low,” PYMNTS wrote in “Digital Banking Rises To Meet SMB Needs,” a collaboration with NCR.

The report also notes that SMBs “are seeking guidance on several fronts hoping to improve their financial health.” Among the motivations cited by the SMBs surveyed were inflation (60%), continued supply chain problems (44%) and talent shortages/acquisitions (36%).

These businesses also want advice from traditional banks, PYMNTS wrote recently, although it’s not often forthcoming.

One study found that 76% of SMBs want financial advice from their bank on things like reducing banking fees, improving their financial situation and understanding how the bank’s technological offerings can help them. But just 15% report receiving comprehensive advice.

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