Borrowell, a soon to launch Canadian peer-to-peer lending platform, announced that it has received $5.4 million in seed funding and commitments.
Key investors include Equitable Bank (a Canadian Schedule 1 bank) and Oakwest Corporation Limited (a private investment company owned and managed by the Beutel family), alongside a group of notable individual investors including Roger Martin, John Bitove, and Dan Debow.
"We're very encouraged by the speed and success of this initial funding round, which suggests that our strategic partners see the same vast potential in the Canadian prime lending space that we've identified. When it comes to borrowing money, there are traditional options and expensive options, and we think it's time for an innovative option."
Borrowell is aiming to transform the currently underdeveloped Canadian peer-to-peer lending market. With such rampant activity next door in the States – one has to believe that the opportunity for growth in Canada is significant.
Andrew Moor, CEO of Equitable Bank, also weighed in:
"Equitable Bank shares Borrowell's vision of providing Canadians with innovative alternatives in the financial services sector, and we're looking forward to playing a role in their success. We have always felt that choice is important, and Borrowell adds a long overdue new borrowing option for Canadians."
Borrowell plans to use the funds to launch its platform in Q1 2015. One of the platform’s key selling points is technology that will provide instant loan approval for borrowers that fit the bill. Borrowell is hoping to help kickstart Canadian consumer P2P lending by providing responsible Canadians with better borrowing options.