Funding Circle to Raise £300m with Listing
Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lender, plans to raise £300 million by listing on the stock market in London. The firm offers loans to small businesses in the US, Germany and the Netherlands as well as the UK and the funds will be used to expand in new markets.
The venture was founded in London in August 2010.
Under its business model, small firms can apply to borrow money from a pool of funds supplied by individuals or firms. The arrangement cuts out banks, hence the term peer-to-peer.
It is the first such lender to float on the London stock market and could be valued at up to £2bn.
Since 2010 Funding Circle has lent more than £5bn in loans to 50,000 small businesses from 80,000 investors – including some £1bn in the first half of this year. Revenue jumped to £63m in the first half of 2018, up from £41m in the same period last year.
Loans under management as at the end of June were more than £2.5bn.
Samir Desai, chief executive and co-founder of Funding Circle, told the BBC it was a “very simple business. We allow anyone to lend money directly to small businesses, cutting out the banks. We are not a savings product.”
Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are acting as advisers for the IPO.
As part of the share sale, Danish billionaire Anders Povlsen will take a 10% stake in the firm. His holding company, Heartland, is a major investor in online fashion retailers Asos and Zalando.