LendingCrowd and DietChef team up
Dorren and Lunn in milestone online funding deal
Two of Britain’s fastest-growing online businesses have teamed up to sign one of the largest peer-to-business funding deals.
Diet Chef, the home delivery company run by entrepreneur Kevin Dorren, has secured £1.5million in debt finance backing from Edinburgh-based crowdlending platform LendingCrowd.
Co-founder and chief executive of LendingCrowd Stuart Lunn (pictured above) said the scale of the deal underlines the platform’s growing credibility as an alternative to traditional lenders.
“This is a great opportunity for the investors on our platform to get involved in funding a really exciting company like Diet Chef. Our investment in a strong credit capability gives us the flexibility and experience to assess deals on a case-by-case basis and offer tailored support to companies that have unique borrowing requirements.
“Many high street banks still don’t cater well for high-growth firms or SMEs in sectors with specific funding needs. LendingCrowd can offer a competitive and straightforward package with the backing of the 1,300 investors on our platform.”
Diet Chef, which was launched by Mr Dorren (right), chief executive, and Andrew Veitch from a garage in 2008, is now the largest diet food home delivery company in the UK. Mr Dorren said it was important for the company to have the right funding package in place to drive future growth and to work with a like-minded entrepreneurial organisation.
“LendingCrowd thinks like we do, so it was a real bonus for us to be able to partner with another expanding online business that shares our vision.”
Since it was launched in October 2014, LendingCrowd has loaned in excess of £3.7million to 35 SMEs across the UK in need of finance to help them grow. It recently celebrated its first birthday by winning the B2B category at the Scottish Digital Business Awards.
For businesses to be eligible for listing on LendingCrowd’s loan market they must satisfy a robust credit underwriting process, which includes an assessment of an ability to repay based on at least two-years’ trading and a turnover of approximately £100,000.
This helps give investors a choice of assessed firms with risk categories and corresponding returns from a minimum investment of £20 up to tens of thousands of pounds.