Scottish fintech LendingCrowd raises Â£2m
LendingCrowd, the only peer-to-peer (P2P) lender headquartered in Scotland, is poised to significantly scale up its operations after completing a Â£2 million external funding round.
The story so far
The Edinburgh-based business lending specialist, which was established in 2014, is planning to ramp up its sales and marketing activities and seek Series A funding over the next 12 months following the round, which was led by angel syndicate Equity Gap and included the Scottish Investment Bank and private investors.
Stuart Lunn, CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd, said: â€œHaving laid solid foundations for the business over the last couple of years, we now have a position in the market that is starting to pay dividends. We have a strong pipeline of both investors and SME demand and with such a strong trajectory, we are now actively speaking to the venture capital and private equity communities about our next phase of growth.â€
Some very strong ambitions
Having agreed loan deals totalling some Â£16 million with SMEs across Britain last year, Mr Lunn has set a target to more than double that figure to about Â£40 million in 2018. Investor funds on the platform, which is fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, are also growing rapidly. LendingCrowd now offers three investment products, all of which can be held within its Innovative Finance ISA wrapper.
Scottish Investment Bank director Kerry Sharp said: â€œWe are delighted to provide continued support to LendingCrowd, who have demonstrated real market traction with their innovative peer-to-peer lending platform in Scotland.â€
Jock Millican from Equity Gap added: â€œWe are extremely pleased that our syndicate members once again backed LendingCrowd, with this raise being the largest single investment by Equity Gap to date. Existing and new investors in LendingCrowd recognise the progress to date and the potential for the business to scale.â€
On the box - think outside the bank
As part of its drive to build its position in the market and bring P2P investing to a wider audience, LendingCrowd recently launched its debut television advert. The campaign features Geoff, who decided to â€œThink Outside The Bankâ€ and invest with the platform after becoming disillusioned with low rates of return elsewhere. The advert was filmed in and around Edinburgh, with locations including a cafÃ© in Leith and the grounds of historic Hopetoun House in South Queensferry.