Nicola Horlick’s P2P business lending platform Money&Co. has secured an investment from a Chinese investor.
Money&Co. has signed an investment agreement with the Chinese Overseas Consortium Development Company Ltd. The investment round, Money&Co.’s third to date, values the company at over £20m. The exact amount invested has not been disclosed.
Alan Boyd, former head of acquisitions at Microsoft – where he reported directly to Bill Gates, facilitated the investment round. In 2011, Boyd founded SC2P Investments as a means of introducing Western technologies into China. He said: “I believe this is a landmark deal that will only lead to closer and better economic relations between the UK and China. This shows that Brexit has not diminished the appetite of the Chinese to invest in the UK. FinTech is an area to watch.”
Money&Co.’s previous investment rounds came from private individuals in the UK, who invested under the EIS scheme. Boutique private equity house IW Capital, which is headed up by Luke Davis, is a major shareholder in the company. Horlick told AltFi a few months ago that the proceeds of this fundraise would be used to scale up the platform and to hire new staff. She also said that Money&Co. was actively seeking institutional debt capital commitments, which would allow the platform to flip the emphasis of its marketing back onto borrowers.
Horlick also lauded the sophistication of Money&Co.’s technology infrastructure, which at the time had not been fully paid for. The company’s technology-base appears to have been a key factor in the latest investment round. Horlick commented: “I am delighted by the capital commitment from our Chinese investment partners. The P2P FinTech model is an attractive one – and I believe they were especially interested in our state-of-the-art technology platform, that allows the business to be scaled up very easily and efficiently.”
Money&Co. may now look to expand geographically by committing resources to new parts of the country. Horlick previously identified asset leasing and healthcare finance as attractive new niches, were the company to build out its product set.
Money&Co. has lent a little over £7.5m to date, with £762k lent in 2016, spread across two loans, according to the Liberum AltFi Volume Index UK.
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.