Funding Circle announces $65 million investment to fuel international growth of marketplace lending; Robert K. Steel joins the board
- Funding will be used to explore new international markets and expand product ranges
- CEO of Perella Weinberg Partners and former Under Secretary for Domestic Finance of the United States Treasury, will join Funding Circle board
SAN FRANCISCO, July 16, 2014-- Funding Circle, the world's leading online marketplace for business lending which has lent more than half a billion dollars to over 5,000 businesses, today announced it has raised $65 million in a Series D funding round led by Index Ventures with participation from existing investors, Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital. The new funding will be used to continue to fuel the company's rapid global growth, expand product ranges and explore new international markets.
In addition, Robert K. Steel, CEO of Perella Weinberg Partners, will join the Funding Circle board. Mr. Steel has approximately 40 years of public and private sector experience, having served as former Under Secretary for Domestic Finance of the United States Treasury, CEO of Wachovia, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs and Deputy Mayor of New York.
Launched in 2010, Funding Circle is helping to spark a global revolution in the way small businesses access finance, disrupting the traditional model of banking. Through the Funding Circle marketplace, small businesses can borrow directly from thousands of investors, including people and Government in the UK, plus institutional lenders.
Today's news follows Funding Circle's record growth in both the US and UK markets over the past 12 months. The marketplace lender is on track to lend $600 million in 2014, and independent analysis predicts that the industry will account for $1 trillion within the next decade.
Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle said: "We are thrilled to welcome Bob to our board. His expertise and experience is unparalleled. This latest round of funding will fuel our global ambitions and power the next phase of our evolution - catering for the increase in demand we expect to see over the next 12 months. Our vision is to build a better financial world, helping more small businesses access finance, and offering attractive returns to investors."
Since launching in the US at the end of 2013, Funding Circle has increased its lending to American businesses by 500 percent and is expected to lend $100 million by the end of 2014. The Small Business Administration estimates a $100 billion funding shortfall in the US economy, and Funding Circle is on course to fill the gap left by traditional sources of finance.
Sam Hodges, US Managing Director and co-founder of Funding Circle said: "Bob's decision to join Funding Circle in our mission to revolutionize the antiquated banking sector is further validation of the growing marketplace lending industry on this side of the pond. The market potential in the US is huge, and with our strong leadership team and backing from our top-tier venture partners, Funding Circle is well poised to continue our solid growth trajectory and remain focused on helping American small businesses prosper."
Robert K. Steel, a non-executive director of Funding Circle said: "I'm delighted to be joining the Funding Circle board. I have been impressed with the growth of the company over the past four years, and believe there is a unique opportunity for marketplace lending to revolutionize access to finance for small businesses across the globe. I look forward to leveraging my experience and to working with my fellow directors to support the company as it enters its next stage of growth."
In total, Funding Circle has now raised $123 million in equity funding.
Neil Rimer, partner and co-founder of Index Ventures said: "We view Funding Circle as a category-defining company that pioneered a marketplace for business loans. Its founders exemplify the new class of fintech entrepreneurs who are combining technology and novel business models to offer much better value than banks and other incumbents have been offering their customers. Funding Circle's exciting partnership with Santander reflects the degree to which this proposition has entered the mainstream and is recognized by forward-thinking banks as a massive opportunity."
By bringing together industry leading risk management and cutting edge technology, Funding Circle's proven model enables businesses to access finance in a matter of days, directly from investors. Through Funding Circle, businesses typically access the capital they need in seven days compared to 15-20 weeks with a bank. Independent research has found that three in four businesses would come to Funding Circle first in future, ahead of a bank.
Funding Circle (www.fundingcircle.com) is the world's leading online marketplace for business loans, enabling investors to directly lend to small businesses in both the UK and the US. Since launching in the UK in 2010 Funding Circle has now lent more than $500 million to over 5,000 businesses, and currently lends $50 million per month.
In the US, Funding Circle's online marketplace allows accredited investors and institutions to invest in small businesses seeking to borrow $25,000 to $500,000 through whole loans or a passive fund. By combining cutting edge technology with industry-leading risk management models, Funding Circle provides small businesses with access to fast, fair and transparent finance and investors with the opportunity to access attractive returns at fixed income risk levels through an online marketplace. In 2014, Funding Circle expects to lend $100 million to American small businesses.
In the UK, businesses can borrow between £5,000 and £1 million, while investors can earn a 6.1%* average return after fees and bad debt. Since launching in August 2010 Funding Circle has helped over 5,000 businesses borrow more than £300 million. Investors include thousands of individuals, the Government-backed British Business Bank, local councils, financial organisations and Huddersfield University. Funding Circle was the first marketplace lender to announce a formal referral partnership with Santander, one of the UK's leading high street banks.
* This is the weighted average return across all investors lending for 180 days or more through Funding Circle over an annualised period. It includes all earnings and is calculated after fees and bad debt but before tax. Investment through Funding Circle involves lending to small and medium sized businesses so your investment can go down as well as up. Remember, past returns are not necessarily a guide to future returns. Data correct as of 09 June 2014.
About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a multi-stage venture capital firm investing in technology and life science companies. Based in London, Geneva and San Francisco, Index is dedicated to supporting the best entrepreneurial teams looking to build market-defining, global businesses. Since its inception in 1996, Index has teamed-up with exceptional entrepreneurs in more than 20 countries, who are using technology to reshape every industry from gaming, media, retail and travel to education, financial services, security, storage and pharma -- and every other sector in between. The companies they've started include Adyen, asos, BitPay, Climate Corp, Criteo, Dropbox, Etsy, Just Eat, King, Hortonworks, Pure Storage, Skype, SoundCloud, Supercell and Transferwise — among many others. Find out more at www.indexventures.com.
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, London, New York City and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel. Accel has invested in over 500 companies, many of which have defined their categories, including Angry Birds (Rovio), Atlassian, Cloudera,ComScore, Dropbox, Facebook, Groupon, Imperva, Kayak,Playfish, QlikTech, Spotify, Supercell, Varonis and Wonga. For more information, visit the Accel Partners web site at www.accel.com or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/accel.
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