The winners of the hotly-anticipated AltFi Awards 2017, recognising outstanding achievement in the Alternative Finance industry, have been announced. Now in their fourth year, the awards recognise excellence for both established and up-and-coming platforms.
Before revealing the winners, we’d like to extend our thanks to our panel of expert judges, the applicants and last but not least our readers for taking part in the People’s Choice poll.
Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lending unicorn, grabbed three awards this year, including P2P Business Platform of the Year, Clarity of Data and the coveted Editors' Choice Award. Our judges were full of praise for the platform:
“Continuing to grow and innovate, the stat that they are lending more to SMEs than the rest of the UK banking system is quite astounding. A great success story.”
Our editors provided the following rationale for selecting Funding Circle for the Editor’s Choice Award:
“Funding Circle did what it set out to do in 2017: got its head down and got on with business. Fittingly, the platform ended the year as the UK and Europe's largest marketplace lender, and is now the largest marketplace lender for small businesses globally. It recently passed $5bn in loans originated globally, an amount which features $1bn lent in the US, and a significant amount in Europe; it now appears to be firing on all cylinders. The company also clinched a significant £160m funding deal with insurance giant Aegon - a deal that many are pointing to as a sign that larger, conventional fixed income investors are now warming up to online loans as an asset class. The company also rebranded and launched a major marketing campaign, helping to raise awareness of non-bank lending in the UK. It began the year by raising another $100m, and is now reportedly eyeing what would be a landmark IPO. Perhaps most importantly, the company was authorised in May 2017, paving the way for the launch of its Innovative Finance ISA.”
LendInvest also emerged as a big winner at the AltFi Awards this year, winning the Alternative Platform of the Year award and the highly popular ‘One to Watch’ category.
The Crowdfunding category saw a close battle play out between SyndicateRoom and Crowdcube. Both of them are former winners of the award, with Crowdcube taking the crown in 2016 and 2014 and SyndicateRoom winning in 2015. This year, SyndicateRoom managed to tie up the scoreboard by winning Crowdfunding Platform of The Year, with Crowdcube taking a respectable 2nd place.
Over to our two new categories for this year: Digital Bank of the Year and Digital Wealth Manager of the Year.
Digital Bank of the Year goes to fintech darling Monzo which wowed the judges with its product and customer service.
“I love Monzo's analytics and I loved the way, this year, they asked their users to vote on how they should change the way they service and charge for overseas ATM withdrawals. They cleverly turned a difficult issue for the company into a great piece of user engagement,” said a judge.
Lendix COO Patrick de Nonneville receives our Special Industry Contribution award this year, with our Editors providing the following rationale for the choice:
“A prominent industry figure who arrived at Lendix from Goldman Sachs (where he was a partner) in 2015, and seems to have been instrumental in scaling the business. Lendix is now arguably Continental Europe's leading business lending platform, having replaced Funding Circle as the distribution partner platform of choice for the European Investment Bank. Lendix is also active across three countries, has received the endorsement of finance minister Bruno le Maire, and is working with AltFi Data to deliver best-in-class transparency to investors and other industry observers (a partnership de Nonneville was instrumental in forging). De Nonneville is also an extremely vocal and knowledgeable proponent of the sector, regularly speaking at events, providing commentary, posting on social media, and so on. Lendix currently boasts the largest market share of any marketplace lender in Continental Europe (42.1 per cent) and is the largest business lending platform in Continental Europe by cumulative lending volume (EUR141.8).“