LendingCrowd Raises 2M GBP

LendingCrowd has secured an external funding round of 2 million GBP following a strong 2017 for the p2p lending company, with the proceeds earmarked for ramping up its sales and marketing activities.

The round was led by angel syndicate Equity Gap and included a number of private investors from Scotland’s entrepreneurial and finance scene, and the Scottish Investment Bank. The company  says it is on track to scale significantly during 2018 and intends to seek Series A funding over the next 12 months.

As part of its drive to build market position, LendingCrowd this month launched its debut television advert, designed to bring the opportunities available through P2P lending to a wider audience. The advert features Geoff, who decided to “Think Outside The Bank” and invest with the platform after becoming disillusioned with the low rates of return on other investments.

LendingCrowd has originated loan deals totalling 16 million to SMEs across Britain in the past 12 months period. For 2018, CEO and co-founder Stuart Lunn has set a target to more than double loan deals to around 40 million GBP. New clients in 2017 included Summerhall Distillery, producer of award-winning spirits brand Pickering’s Gin, restaurant chain Tony Macaroni and property lettings agency Umega Lettings.

Investor funds on the platform have grown rapidly, with much of the expansion attributed to the launch of one of the first Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) products in February 2017. After a full 12 months of opening the LendingCrowd Growth ISA, 82% of investors have beaten the advertised 6% target return.

LendingCrowd, which is fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, has over 4,500 investors signed up to its platform and is on track to significantly increase investor numbers this year. It now offers three IFISA products ­– the passive Growth ISA and Income ISA, and the active Self-Select ISA.

Stuart LunnStuart Lunn, LendingCrowd CEO and co-founder, said: “Having 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.”

Jock Millican from Equity Gap said: “We 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.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank, commented: “We are delighted to provide continued support to LendingCrowd who have demonstrated real market traction with their innovative peer-to-peer lending platform in Scotland.”

Bitbond Gets 5M Euro Debt Commitment to Boost Sales

Bitbond logoBitcoin based SME marketplace lender Bitbond has received a commitment from Obotritia Capital to fund loans worth 5 million Euro through its platform. Additionally, Obotritia invested an undisclosed amount of equity to acquire a stake in Bitbond.

With the debt commitment, SME loans from European prime borrowers will be funded instantaneously on Bitbond. This will reduce the time it takes for business owners to apply and receive a loan to 30 minutes.

The equity investment from Potsdam based Obitritia will be used by Bitbond for further product development and marketing. Bitbond plans to continue growing its user base with online sellers and small businesses who need working capital financing.

Over 1,700 loans worth 1.4 million Euro were originated through Bitbond since its launch in 2013. 90,000 users from 120 countries registered with the service to date.

Founder & CEO of Bitbond Radoslav Albrecht said: ‘The debt commitment by Obotritia brings Bitbond to the next level in our efforts to provide universal SME financing. The next step is to work with partners. Such partners could be online marketplaces who want to add value to their platforms by giving their merchants access to instant cash through Bitbond.’ Continue reading

Bitcoin Based P2P Lending Service Bitbond Raises 1.1M EUR Round

Bitbond LogoSME lending platform Bitbond today announced the closing of an equity funding round of 1.1 million EUR. This round brings Bitbond’s raised equity capital to a total of 2.2 million EUR.

Led by mobilike founder Şekip Can Gökalp, a number of business angels contributed to the round. Among them were Fyber founders Janis Zech and Andreas Bodczek as well as Kreditech co-founder & CEO Alexander Graubner-Müller.

Bitbond will use the additional funds for further product development and to grow its user base in markets which are underserved by traditional lenders. Over 1,600 loans worth 1.2 million USD were originated on Bitbond since its launch. 76,000 users from 120 countries registered with the service to date.

Founder & CEO of Bitbond Radoslav Albrecht said: “The additional resources will help us to continue realizing our mission which is to make lending and borrowing globally accessible. We are happy to have such experienced investors supporting us on this exciting journey.” Albrecht contributed a guest article on bitcoin p2p lending in the past on P2P-Banking.

In October 2016 Bitbond received their own regulatory licence by German financial services supervisor BaFin. This makes the service one of the first and only regulated blockchain based financial services providers.

The startup from Berlin connects investors who look for above average fixed-income investment opportunities with small business owners who need a loan. To make global cross-border lending possible, the platform uses the bitcoin blockchain for payment processing. Continue reading

Aegon to Invest 1.5 Billion EUR in Auxmoney Loans; Leads 15M Series E

Dutch insurance company Aegon, international provider of life insurance, pensions and asset management, intensifies relationship with leading German p2p lending marketplace Auxmoney. Aegon plans to invest 1.5 bilion (!) Euro into p2p consumer loans issued by Auxmoney within the next 3 years. This is a stunning amount for institutional investments in the European p2p lending sector.

Aegon also leads the new 15 million Euro Series E funding round for Auxmoney. This financing round is being topped up by existing shareholders of Auxmoney.

Aegon the Netherlands, Eric Rutten, who will join the board of auxmoney, comments: “With innovations along the entire value chain of credit and its highly sophisticated and techdriven
methods of risk assessments and scoring, auxmoney is another strong case for Aegon to drive innovations in the financial industry for the benefit of society.”

Raffael Johnen, CEO and co-founder of auxmoney, says: “This investment is a strong signal for the entire FinTech industry in Europe and beyond. Through our efforts to provide capital to millions more people, we have emphatically made the case for a more inclusive financial system. Auxmoney is an impactful and sustainable FinTech leader in Europe, and we will continue to make a difference in the banking and finance landscape.”

Johnen continues: “Aegon’s funding commitment will enable auxmoney to onboard banks that are looking to expand and improve their loan offerings to clients through auxmoney’s
marketplace. We are looking forward to supporting more bank partners in serving their clients even better.“
Johnen adds: “When we first launched auxmoney, our vision was to empower customers who had no access to credit products. Today’s funding commitment from Aegon will enable
us to expand our offerings of highly competitive all-digital loans at all levels of the credit spectrum.”

The partnership between Aegon and Auxmoney started in 2015.

Auxmoney management

Funding Circle Raises 100M US$ from Accel and further VCs

Funding Circle raised 100 million US$ of equity capital in a round led by Accel Partners. The round also included other existing investors Baillie Gifford, DST Global, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Rocket Internet, Sands Capital Ventures, Temasek and Union Square Ventures.

The company will use the funding to continue to consolidate its position, as well as to continue to invest in technology and talent.

Measured by new origination volume during the last months Funding Circle is the largest p2p lending marketplace in the UK. The company is also present in the US and in continental Europe. Last week the British Business Bank committed to lend 40 million GBP to British SMEs through Funding Circle.

Funding Circle has now raised 373 million US$ in equity capital. The previous round was a 150M US$ in 2015 round led by DST Capital.

Smava Raises 34M US$ Series C

smava-logo-2016German credit broker Smava today announced that it has closed a 34 million US$ investment which was led by growth investor Runa Capital, with additional participation from Verdane Capital and mojo.capital. Runa Capital is a venture capital firm with other investments in Zopa, Lendingrobot and Lendio. Verdane Capital is a Scandinavian private equity firm. Existing investors including Earlybird Venture Capital also participated in the investment. This series C round follows the previous round in 2015 which was 16 million US$. In total Smava, which launched in 2007, has raised about 64 million US$ so far.

Smava wants to use the funding to expand the customer base, hire additional talent and continue enhancing our scoring technology according to CEO Alexander Artopé.

Smava connects private borrowers with a broad selection of banks and private investors on its marketplace. Smava offers personal loans ranging from 1,000 to 120,000 Euros. Continue reading

P2P Lending Marketplace Afluenta Raises 8M Series B From IFC and Elevar Equity

Afluenta LogoAfluenta, headquarted in Buenos Aires, announced today the completion of its Series B funding round from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector institution of the World Bank Group, and Elevar Equity, a venture capital firm. IFC and Elevar Equity are investing 4 million US$ each.

Afluenta seeks to disrupt the traditional financial services industry, cutting out middlemen and using proprietary technology to transform the process of applying for a loan, thus facilitating access to financing. Afluenta says it offers borrowers a simple, affordable and less bureaucratic experience, while delivering better yield for individual and institutional lenders.

A pioneer in the region, Afluenta plans to use the proceeds of the Series B financing for accelerating its network expansion plan across Latin America. Launched in Argentina in 2012 and in Peru in 2015, Afluenta plans to launch new services in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil in the next 12 months to consolidate as the first pan-regional player of this new and disruptive alternative financing. Continue reading

LendInvest Raises 17M GBP Series B from Atomico

Lendinvest logoLendInvest, a UK online marketplace for property finance, has completed a 17 million GBP (25 million US$) Series B equity investment from Atomico, the technology venture capital firm founded by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype.

This is LendInvest’s second equity investment in nine months. In June 2015, LendInvest secured a 22 million GBP (33 million US$) Series A investment from Beijing Kunlun, the listed Chinese technology company.

The round takes LendInvest’s total institutional funding (debt and equity) to over 200 million GBP (285 million US$).

LendInvest was launched in 2013 by founders Christian Faes and Ian Thomas, and has lent 560 million GBP to finance 2,100 properties in the UK. The UK mortgage market – a £1.3 trillion sector  is traditionally offline, slow and generally a very poor consumer experience says LendInvest.

Today LendInvest’s technology reduces the time taken to process mortgages from months to days, while maintaining rigorous credit controls. LendInvest has also opened up mortgages as a new and attractive asset class that delivers returns of over 5% per annum for investors.

LendInvest will use this funding to accelerate its investment in technology and extend its lead in the property finance market. The company is recruiting its first Senior VP of Engineering and will expand its technology and product teams. Continue reading

Auxmoney Raises Series D from Seven Ventures

Auxmoney Logo 2016Auxmoney, one of the oldest German p2p lending marketplaces, has completed a Series D round with Seven Ventures as lead investor. The specifics were not disclosed, only that Seven Ventures along with Index Ventures, Union Square Ventures und Foundation Capital invested a double digit million Euro amount. Seven Ventures is the investment arm of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, which operates large TV channels in Germany.

Raffael Johnen, co-founder and CEO of Auxmoney stated: „The partnership with ProSiebenSat1 is an important milestone on our path to change the public awareness for p2p lending in Germany. We will make a big step towards our goal to enable access to loans for more people. The raised capital and the better access to TV advertising will help us to make p2p lending part of everyday life of millions of people.” (original quote in German; own translation)

Auxmoney trippled loan volume in 2015 compared to 2014.  As of January 31st, 2016, according to numbers on file with P2P-Banking.com, the company had originated 441 million EUR in loans since launch, with a monthly loan origination volume of 10.6M for the last month on file (January 2016).

Auxmoney management
Auxmoney management