Fourfold rise for lender
ISA helps surge in LendingCrowd loan deals
Stuart Lunn: making an impression
Lending Crowd, the alternative finance provider, is anticipating a near-fourfold rise in deals this year, supported by the introduction of an ISA for investors.
The only crowd lender in Scotland is looking to complete £18 million of deals this year against £4.5m in 2016.
It said much of the growth in investor funds on the platform resulted from the launch in February of one of the UK’s first Innovative Finance ISAs in February.
This followed a change in the ISA rules which allowed investors to put cash into crowd lenders.
The Edinburgh-based company has also benefited from a ground-breaking deal with Scottish Enterprise which a year ago provided £2.75m for the company to lend.
This has helped the company complete 33 loan deals worth £3m to Scottish companies.
Borrowers include Summerhall Distillery, restaurant chain Tony Macaroni and property lettings agency, Umega Lettings.
Stuart Lunn, CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd, is targeting £15 million of loans to Scottish SMEs in 2018, more than a third of forecast lending of £40 million across the UK next year.
He said the company was “starting to make an impression in the Scottish market”
To help drive growth and scale the business, former RBS and Clydesdale Bank director Adrian Innes joined the company as head of origination and now leads business development activity.
The company launched in 2014 and now has more than 4,000 investors signed up to its platform. Deals range in size from £20,000 to more than £1m. In 2015 it helped Diet Chef complete one of the biggest ever peer-to-business deals seen in the UK in a £1.5m debt finance transaction.