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Funding Circle SME Income Fund raises £142m




By Ryan Weeks on 10th April 2017


C Share raise brings SME Income Fund’s market cap to £307m.

 

The Funding Circle SME Income Fund, the listed trust which invests in Funding Circle loans globally, has raised a fresh £142m via a C Share placement.

 

The fund listed on the London Stock Exchange in November 2015, raising an initial £150m. This latest round of fundraising brings its market cap to £307m. The fund – which offers investors exposure to Funding Circle loans in the UK, Europe and US – is Europe’s only single platform vehicle. Others, such as P2P Global Investments and VPC Specialty Lending, invest across a range of alternative lending platforms. 

 

Funding Circle expects the £142m to be substantially invested, and the C Shares converted into Ordinary Shares, within nine months.  

 

Ewan Lovett-Turner, a director at Numis Securities Limited, called the C Share raise an impressive result for Funding Circle, noting that it comes against a backdrop of other marketplace/direct lending funds trading on substantial discounts.

 

“We believe this reflects the FCIF’s focused approach, investing solely in SME loans through the Funding Circle marketplaces, and the attractive fee structure with no management or performance fees at the fund level,” he wrote. 

 

Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai (pictured above) echoed those sentiments.

 

“This remains the only fund that lends exclusively to small businesses through a direct lending platform, opening up small business lending to investors who were previously unable to gain exposure to these loans,” he said. “This and the fact there are zero management or performance fees make it a differentiated and attractive product for investors, and we are very pleased this has been reflected in the take-up.”

 

The SME Income Fund’s Ordinary shares are currently trading at a 2.4 per cent premium to NAV. The C Shares will begin trading on the London Stock Exchange tomorrow morning. 

 

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