Wellesley & Co. hit the £100m milestone today – less than 12 months after it first started accepting private investor capital in November 2013. The platform has had a whirlwind first year within the UK P2P market. Alongside scooping “Fastest Growing Platform” at September’s AltFi Awards, Wellesley has also broken and broken again the record for largest individual loan by a peer-to-peer lending platform. The Wellesley model attracts borrowers that are looking for larger loans than is typical within the P2P space – and it is also attracting a large volume of high net worth investors. The average investment size for the platform is upwards of £10k.
The unique structure of the bridging loans specialist is a major driving force behind the platform’s breakneck rate of expansion. That structure includes the following features:
Wellesley has skin-in-the-game for every loan that it writes.
Investors start accruing interest immediately, regardless of whether or not their funds have actually been lent (the most popular platforms usually have an excess of investor demand – meaning it takes a while for their funds to be matched to a loan).
All loans are asset-backed. Though the initial focus has been on property development – Wellesley has indicated that it is looking to diversify its product range by offering other types of asset-backed loans in the near future.
Graham Wellesley, Chairman and joint CEO of the platform, commented on the news:
“We are very proud of this milestone that we have reached. It illustrates that our business plan and methods in place are operating effectively. This is the beginning of an elongated road for Wellesley and we aim to continue growth at this rate and enhancing the product for our customers.”
The £100m mark is a major milestone for any platform. There are just 6 alternative finance platforms in the UK that have topped it: Zopa, RateSetter, Funding Circle, MarketInvoice, LendInvest and now Wellesley. The first four are the leaders in their respective fields and are also the first or second movers within their particular niches. LendInvest and Wellesley both arrived much more recently – but they are steadily closing the gap on the incumbents.