2018 in Review & Orcaâ€™s Big Plans for 2019
2018 has been a big year for Orca. We launched the Orca Investment Platform, secured another funding round, and expanded the business in personnel and location. Not to mention, plans have been put in place for the launch of the Orca ISA and the â€˜Self-Selectâ€™ portfolio builder, a complementary product to the existing â€˜Modelâ€™ portfolio.
Here is our 2018 timeline of significant milestonesâ€¦
February 2018 - Orca Investment Platform Launches
In February, we launched the Orca Investment Platform, an aggregator which integrates with multiple major peer to peer lenders, enabling investors to spread their capital and risk across platforms, sectors, and borrowers.
This was a massive moment for Orca. Years had been spent building up to this point and a tremendous amount of effort had been invested by many, many people. Special thanks to those who supported us, you know who you are.
September 2018 â€“ Seedrs Equity Crowdfunding Campaign Launches
We ran our first ever equity crowdfunding campaign. Using the Seedrs platform and admittedly unsure of how successful the campaign would be, we were delighted to exceed our Â£500,000 target in under two days!
With more than 400 investors, spanning dozens of countries, the response from the crowd â€“ including Orca users â€“ has been an especially rewarding feature of the year.
December 2018 â€“ Orca Secures Over Â£500,000 in Equity Funding
Following the close of the Seedrs campaign, and with contribution from venture capital funds, angel networks and private investors, Orca secured Â£574,280.
The funds will contribute to Orcaâ€™s development and growth plans for 2019.
Now, 2019, hereâ€™s the big pitchâ€¦
Q1 2019 â€“ Orca ISA
The Orca ISA will be a first of its kind in the market where investors can build their own portfolio and hold it in an ISA. Current ISA rules stipulate that people can divide their tax-year ISA allowance of Â£20,000 between ISA (e.g, Cash, Stocks & Shares and Innovative Finance ISA) accounts however they wish. But, they may only subscribe current tax-year subscriptions to a single IF ISA each year. This means it is very difficult to build a diversified P2P portfolio which is wrapped in an ISA. Investors typically hold one P2P investment within an IF ISA, while the remaining P2P investments are held in taxable general investment accounts.
With the Orca ISA, investors can hold multiple P2P providers in a single IF ISA. Here are the key benefits:
- Invest in the Orca Model portfolio suitable for hands-off investors or Orcaâ€™s Self-Select portfolio for the more active investor
- Earn interest up to 6.5%
- Earn returns tax-free
- Diversify ISA money across multiple P2P providers
- Transfer old ISA money
- Invest ISA money at non-ISA P2P providers
The company is already building aÂ Wait ListÂ of investors eagerly awaiting the launch of the ISA.
Q1 2019 â€“ Self-Select Portfolio Builder
In addition to the launch of the Orca ISA, we are also launching a new product to complement the existing Model portfolio product.
The Self-Select portfolio builder allows investors to implement their own strategies, selecting only the P2P providers and products they wish to hold in their portfolio. Whatâ€™s more, investors can build their portfolio and hold it in the Orca ISA.
2019 â€“ Integrate New Lenders
Throughout 2019 weâ€™ll be seeking to introduce new lenders to the aggregator, offering investors greater choice and diversification. Updates on this will come in the new year.
2019 â€“ On-board EU Investors
We are investigating how we can on-board EU investors, something which we believe will stimulate growth in the UK P2P market and offer EU investors a simple access-point to UK P2P lending.
To find out more about our exciting new product developments, click here
Finally, a special thanks to everyone who has invested with Orca, your support is very much appreciated; the value early adopters offer businesses is immeasurable and helps shape future product iterations, so thank you from the entire Orca Team. Have a fantastic 2019!