A year on from its groundbreaking partnership with Scottish Enterprise, LendingCrowd, Scotland’s only alternative finance provider to SMEs, has completed 33 loan deals to Scottish companies to the tune of £3 million.
Last October, it was announced that Scottish Enterprise would provide LendingCrowd with £2.75 million to lend to Scottish SMEs across its platform. Since then, loan deals have been inked with fast-growth companies like the Summerhall Distillery, producers of award-winning spirits brand Pickering’s Gin, restaurant chain Tony Macaroni and property lettings agency, Umega Lettings. Stuart Lunn, CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd, is targeting £15 million of loans to Scottish SMEs in 2018, more than a third of forecast lending of £40 million across the UK next year.
Stuart Lunn said: “The flexibility of our funding packages combined with our ability to offer a highly personalised service and much quicker turnarounds on loan decisions than are available on the high street are starting to make an impression in the Scottish market. LendingCrowd has seen significant growth in 2017 and is anticipating doing £18 million of deals this year, versus £4.5m in 2016. Much of the growth in investor funds on the platform results from LendingCrowd launching its ISA in February this year.”
To help drive growth and scale the business, former RBS and Clydesdale Bank director Adrian Innes joined LendingCrowd as Head of Origination in September and now leads business development activity.
- LendingCrowd enables retail and other investors to invest in SME loans using an industry-leading technology platform. Since launching in 2014, LendingCrowd has become fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, launched an ISA product for investors and agreed a partnership with Scottish Enterprise whereby its investment arm, the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), has agreed to invest £2.75m in LendingCrowd loans.
- LendingCrowd has over 4,000 investors signed up to its platform. Deals range in size from £20,000 to over £1 million – in 2015 LendingCrowd helped Diet Chef complete one of the biggest ever peer-to-business deals seen in the UK in a £1.5m debt finance transaction.
- In February, LendingCrowd launched one of the first Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISAs) by a P2P lender with a target rate of return of 6% a year. Target rate is variable net of ongoing management fees and bad debt.
- LendingCrowd is Scotland’s only headquartered P2P lender and has established a strong market presence across the UK in a relatively short period of time.
- Capital at risk.
About Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s national economic development agency. We aim to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Our role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. We support ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and help build Scotland’s globally competitive sectors. We also work with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.