The leading real estate platform closed a £5m loan in the first week of the new year, bringing its cumulative lending volume to £501m. LendInvest took a little over 2 and a half years to hit the £500m mark, which is a record time within the UK peer-to-peer space. The platform is the fourth largest in the UK by cumulative lending volume, and boasts a 10.7% market share, according to AltFi Data (chart featured below). LendInvest is currently lending between £20m and £25m a month. The platform crossed the £300m mark as recently as May 2015, an achievement which coincided with the 2nd anniversary of its launch.
Equally notable has been the platform’s impact on the broader UK economy. Well over 1,200 new or rebuilt buildings were financed by the platform over the course of 2015, equivalent to 1% of all privately developed homes in 2015 (according to ONS figures, correct as of 30 November 2015).
2015 proved to be a momentous year for LendInvest. The platform raised £22m in equity capital, captured an "SQ1" rating from the regulated credit rating agency ARC Ratings, and announced £3.1m in profits (across 31 March 2014 – 31 March 2015) – to name but a few milestones.
What can we expect from LendInvest in the coming year? The platform is rumoured to be concocting a listed fund structure that will provide institutional investors with passive exposure to its real estate loan book, in much the same way as the Funding Circle SME Income Fund does for Funding Circle’s SME loan portfolio. An IPO – which would be the UK peer-to-peer sector’s first – is also rumoured to be in the works. LendInvest boss Christian Faes addressed these murmurings and more in an extensive interview with AltFi in October last year.
One potential stumbling block on the horizon is the government’s decision to stage a crackdown on the buy-to-let space – exemplified by the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) hike, which is slated for 1 April 2016. But Mr. Faes and Co-Founder Ian Thomas have not appeared especially concerned by such developments, suggesting that the changes won’t have a marked effect on the sorts of highly professional landlords that the platform caters to.
With the £500m milestone in the bag, Mr. Faes is now looking to the future:
“With our technology built, our team in place and customer confidence in online lending soaring, 2016 will be a year of even greater scale and ambition. Hitting the £1 billion landmark could be within our grasp before the year is out.”