UK-based asset-backed lending platform Borro has just closed a $19.5m Series E funding round.
This story will be of interest to AltFi readers from several angles. A significant slice of the round was financed via the Israeli crowdfunding giant OurCrowd – which recently surpassed the $100m mark in cumulative funding. The platform – which caters exclusively to accredited investors – contributed $6m to the fundraise. The remainder of the funds were supplied by leading VC firms Rocket Internet AG (RKET), Canaan Partners and Augmentum Capital.
OurCrowd are laying claim to the title of largest equity crowdfunding round to date. That’s somewhat up for debate – given the scale of various landmark campaigns from leading UK outfits like Crowdcube and Seedrs. But the $6m OurCrowd raise and $19.5m in total funding are certainly impressive numbers. The round itself lends weight to the suggestion that 2015 may be the year in which equity crowdfunding evolves into a mainstream institutional tool, either complementing or leading venture capital investment.
Jon Medved, Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, commented on the evolution of the platform:
“In under two years, OurCrowd went from participating in early seed rounds to now successfully leading a $19.5M dollar major funding round together with Tier 1 VCs such as Canaan and the renowned internet company, Rocket. We are delighted to be investing in quality companies like Borro, which is redefining the Fintech industry.”
Borro is not a peer-to-peer lender, but has found an equally innovative method of funding credit-needy consumers. The platform allows individuals to take out loans by securing those loans against luxury personal assets – such as watches, jewellery, supercars, and so on. Many UK readers will have noted their extensive advertising campaigns on the London Tube. Borro’s board features a number of distinguished financial professionals – including Nigel Morris (Co-Founder of Capital One) and Paul Grattan (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct).
Paul Aitken, Founder and CEO of Borro, weighed in:
“We are delighted with our collaboration with OurCrowd. Their ability to lead this important funding round has proven that equity crowdfunding has indeed come of age. I was excited by the quality of the investors they have brought to the table and am looking forward to their adding additional value to Borro as we move forward.”
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.