Head of Origination Adrian Innes, pictured above left with CEO Stuart Lunn, shares his views on a record month for LendingCrowd and our plans for the year ahead.
LendingCrowd had its best ever month in April, delivering almost £3 million of lending to SMEs across Britain. During the first four months of 2018, we equalled last year’s total lending to Scottish companies.
It’s been a busy start to spring, but we’re not resting on our laurels as summer approaches. Indeed, we expect to more than double our total lending this year, propelled by our recent £2m external fundraising round that will support our sales and marketing activities.
We’re also targeting £10m of loans to Scottish SMEs in 2018. 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 making a real impression in the Scottish marketplace.
Think Outside The Bank
As part of our drive to build market position, in March we launched our debut television advert, designed to bring the opportunities available through peer-to-peer (P2P) lending to a wider audience. The advert features Geoff, who decided to Think Outside The Bank and invest with LendingCrowd after becoming disillusioned with the low rates of return on other investments.
Since launching in 2014, our mission has been to do things differently to the banks because we know that SMEs need an alternative route to funding. SMEs are the powerhouse of the British economy but many of our most promising businesses face difficulties in accessing the funds that allow them to grow and enter new markets.
Combining the best of technology with prudent banking tradition, our Credit Team – who have a century of combined credit analysis experience – enable established small businesses to access flexible and affordable financing.
Competitive rates and rapid loan turnaround times mean that more borrowers are turning to specialist P2P business lenders like LendingCrowd, which lets individual investors lend directly to SMEs via our innovative online platform. Research from the British Business Bank in February showed that net bank lending remained relatively flat in 2017, while equity-based crowdfunding continued to fall, but P2P business lending volumes rose by 51 per cent to almost £1.8 billion.
The P2P sector as a whole is maturing and moving into the mainstream as platforms evolve and diversify their business models. The industry is now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and we became the first P2P lender focused on the SME market to achieve full authorisation from the regulator in 2016.
Think Outside The Bank and visit www.lendingcrowd.com/borrower to find out how we can help more SMEs fulfil their funding needs.