We’ve not heard a great deal from the world’s first “secured and insured” peer-to-peer lending platform since its launch it June of this year.
But now ArchOver has burst into the limelight by striking up a partnership with The British Chambers of Commerce. The new arrangement is designed to spread the word about peer-to-peer lending to small businesses all over the country. It’s the first time that the BCC has entered into a formal relationship with a peer-to-peer lender – an impressive coup for such an early-stage outfit. ArchOver will look to boost the profile of the sector by delivering a series of “Crowdlending Masterclasses” via the Accredited Chamber of Commerce network.
Brian Basham, Executive Chairman of ArchOver, commented:
"The Bank of England warned recently that the SME market, which is the mainstay of the British economy, is being starved of cash to the tune of some £14bn a year but Nesta, the research body, has forecast that the P2P sector could provide some £20bn of funding annually by 2017. We are keen to help companies find access to this new source of funding without which the UK economy cannot hope to achieve sustained growth."
A similar kind of engagement took place between Funding Circle and the Glasgow City Council Chamber of Commerce in June 2014. The goal was again to raise the profile of the alternative finance space – but The Glasgow chamber also committed to investing money into local businesses through the Funding Circle platform. No such agreement appears to have materialized between the BCC and ArchOver.
The first of the aforementioned Masterclasses took place in Cambridge yesterday. The audience was comprised largely of local business leaders looking to learn more about the broad spectrum of alternative funding tools at their disposal.
John Bridge, Cambridgeshire Chambers CEO, explained:
"There is a growing demand for alternative sources of funding from businesses with strong growth plans and we’re looking forward to seeing firms in the area benefit from this new access to capital."
The BCC partnership is a powerful endorsement for ArchOver. The platform’s unique proposition – which has been built upon the premise of superior investor security – has the BCC convinced that ArchOver is a suitable flag-bearer for the industry. That’s quite an achievement given that the platform has been in operation just a few short months, and hasn’t yet secured the requisite 0.1% market share of the UK alternative space to enter the Liberum AltFi Index.
David Riches, Executive Director, Commercial Services, at the British Chambers of Commerce, weighed in:
“We are delighted to be working with ArchOver to deliver a series of Crowdlending Masterclasses through the Accredited Chamber Network. Businesses that sign up to the seminars will have the opportunity to learn more about the alternate sources of funding that are available and the beneficial impacts they can have on UK firms. There is a growing demand for alternative sources of funding from businesses with strong growth plans and we’re looking forward to seeing firms benefit from this new access to capital.”
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.