Funding Circle has perhaps started 2017 in a better way than most. The London-based lending platform that connects small businesses with investors has raised $100m (£82m) in equity investment.
The round was led by Accel, an early- and growth-stage venture capital firm, and also included existing Funding Circle investors such as DST Global, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, and Rocket Internet.
Funding Circle is a peer-to-peer lending platform, meaning that it connects borrowers to investors and skipping the banks in the process. The company has lent £2.5 billion by December 2016 and facilitated £1.1 billion of loans in the last year alone. It says it lent £400m in the last quarter alone.
The size of the investment is another suggestion that companies still want to operate in the UK, despite the cloud of Brexit hanging. Earlier this month, Snapchat revealed that it would be making London its international headquarters.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said, “Funding Circle has become a real success story for British Fintech and news that it has attracted £80 million of investment is further evidence of the growing importance of this industry.”
He went on to say how this is another vote of confidence in a UK firm, adding that the move should help businesses to grow and create jobs.
Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle, went so far as to name a specific figure. He said that over the next 12 months, “lending through the Funding Circle platform will create a further 50,000 new jobs, supporting economic growth in the UK, US and continental Europe.”
This investment now takes Funding Circle’s total amount raised to £300m.
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University of Strathclyde has launched, what it claims to be the first Financial Technology focused course in the UK. The degree will be an intensive 12-month Masters that will start from September 2017.
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