UK p2p lending service Funding Circle which facilitates loans to businesses has raised 37 million US$. Funding Circle, launched in 2010, has raised a total of 58 million US$ venture capital now. The series C funding round was led by new investor Accel Partners, with participation from Ribbit Capital (another new investor) and Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures.
Funding Circle also announced that it will merge with smaller US service Endurance Lending Network. Launched in 2011, the Endurance Lending Network has carved out a niche working with fast food joint franchisees but is not releasing its loan volumes, although they are understood to be considerably lower than Funding Circle’s. Funding Circle says that, combined with its back-end technology platform, Endurance’s established team of around 15 employees with experience of the US market will help it crack America. The entire Endurance team will stay on at the firm, which will re-brand as Funding Circle as it targets what the Small Business Administration estimates is a $100 billion funding shortfall in the US economy.
In the US, the model will be modified says Samir Desai, CEO of unding Circle: lending will only be open to accredited investors. This is partly because of regulatory issues.
This is a very big step as it is the first merger of large p2p lending service and at the same time the first international merger. Funding Circle will be able to target a huge market.