We are delighted to announce that the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), has agreed to invest £2.75m in LendingCrowd. SIB’s funding will allow LendingCrowd to invest into more qualifying Scottish companies alongside private sector investors.
The investment, the first initiative to be delivered by SIB under its expanded remit, is expected to stimulate loans of up to £35m to Scottish SMEs and will leverage significant private sector investment, substantially increasing the supply of finance for a broad range of SMEs.
The agreement will allow SMEs to access loans of between £5k and £250k over terms ranging from six months to five years. Applicants will apply directly to LendingCrowd which will undertake the appropriate due diligence on each investment case and provide funding on commercial terms.
The move represents SIB’s first venture into the alternative funding market, as it seeks to increase and broaden the variety of funding available to SMEs in Scotland.
Kerry Sharp, head of SIB, said: “We recognise that many Scottish companies continue to struggle to raise the funding they need to grow, and evidence points to substantial gaps in the supply and demand for finance within the Scottish market.
“Under our expanded remit, we are increasing the diversity of finance provision in Scotland, and this new initiative with LendingCrowd is the first example of how we are opening up innovative sources of alternative funding to Scottish SMEs.
“Peer-to-peer lending is one of the fastest growing areas of alternative finance and this initiative with LendingCrowd will increase competition in the marketplace and provide greater diversity and choice for Scottish SMEs.”
Stuart Lunn, CEO of LendingCrowd, added: “Our groundbreaking agreement with Scottish Enterprise, one of the first initiatives of its kind in Europe, will help to fund the next stage of growth for some of Scotland’s most exciting SMEs. This recognises the increasing importance of peer-to-peer access to finance and, in practical terms, will allow a significant number of small to medium-sized businesses the chance to pursue their ambitions to expand and compete in the UK and internationally.”
Alternative sources of funding have emerged over recent years in response to changing market dynamics. The UK Alternative Finance sector provided £3.2bn worth of loans, investments and donations in 2015, up 84% compared to 2014.
At LendingCrowd, our highly experienced Credit Team assesses every loan application on a case-by-case basis, taking the time to understand the business and its funding needs. With loans ranging from £5,000 to £250,000 and loan terms from 6 months to 5 years, SMEs can access the finance that works best for them.
If you’d like to find out more about how we could help your business, please call us on 0131 564 1610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org