Folk2Folk – the peer-to-peer business lender – has appointed Stifel as its financial advisor.
Stifel has been brought on board to support Folk2Folk as it grows its businesses. Having worked on the IPO for both Lending Club and OnDeck, Stifel brings valuable experience to the young South-Western platform – which has been active since 2013. Since then, according to the Liberum AltFi Volume Index UK, Folk2Folk has grown into the sixth largest UK P2P business lender and has introduced over £65 million of local investment into the South-West. Going forward, the platform looks to expand nationally and open new networks. Unusually for a P2P lender, Folk2Folk can be found on the high street, and plans to expand this physical presence as it expands its geographical remit.
“We are thrilled to be working with Stifel. We believe this is the right time for Folk2Folk to expand the success we have achieved in the South West across the rest of the country. We are a unique operator in the peer-to-peer industry, punching well above our weight and introducing over £60 million to date into the South West economy.”
Despite this, Folk2Folk is looking to retain their business model of responsible, local investment. The company focuses on lenders and borrowers within a community and provides secured loans with a loan-to-value ratio of no more than 60%. Loans must be secured with land or property that is not a primary residence.
Rob Mann - Head of European Advisory at Stifel – said of the appointment: “We are delighted to have been appointed as Financial Advisor by Folk2Folk. UK peer-to-peer lending is a rapidly growing source of funding in the UK and we look forward to working with Folk2Folk as they expand their business.”
This is not the first news of Folk2Folk expanding, or of bringing in outside expertise. In October last year, AltFi reported on Folk2Folk’s expansion out of Cornwall, and how the platform was using accountancy firm Bedford and Co. to assist. Whilst much work will need to be done to catch up with the market leaders – with Funding Circle having completed just shy of £796M worth of loans – Folk2Folk is clearly demonstrating that a localized, physical presence can be successful and scale effectively, just as platforms with an exclusively online presence have done.