Peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle raises $150m, reaching $1bn valuation

Peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle has announced the details of a $150 million funding round, which values the startup at over $1 billion.

Partial news of the funding leaked earlier this month, but the company has now confirmed that the round was led by DST Global, with participation from Baillie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRock, Sands Capital Ventures and Singapore’s Temasek.

While the Funding Circle was not actually planning to raise any further funding, co-founder and CEO Samir Desai told TechCrunch, the company does plan to use this new windfall to expand to countries beyond the US and UK later this year.

Despite the high volumes of transactions the company is seeing in the US and UK, it still has room to grow.

“In the UK where we’ve lent over £600 million the amount of awareness among small businesses is still low,” Desai said. “Less than 5 per cent of businesses have heard of us, and the proportion is even less in the U.S.”

Funding Circle will use some of its latest investment “to drive more users to our services,” he said, as the company plans to lend $1 billion by the end of this year.

The company also announced that former Betfair CEO and CTO David Yu will become Funding Circle’s new chief product officer. It has also appointed Chitra Nayek, former COO of Salesforce’s Platform business, as its US COO.

So far, the company has raised $273 million to date, from investors including Index Ventures, Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital.

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