Edinburgh-based peer-to-peer lender LendingCrowd has scooped a £2m fundraise. The round has been led by angel syndicate Equity Gap alongside a number of prominent Scottish entrepreneurs and the Scottish Investment Bank.
LendingCrowd began its collaboration with the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) in late 2016 when it clinched £2.75m in loan capital from the Bank. The SIB is the investment arm of Scotland’s main economic development agency Scottish Enterprise.
LendingCrowd hopes to haul in a series A funding round over the next 12 months. The platform lent £16m to small businesses in 2017 and hopes to more than double that number to £40m in 2018. It also hit television screens for the first time this month, with an investor-facing advert in which a man named Geoff decides to “think outside the bank”.
LendingCrowd now has over 4,500 investors signed up to its platform. It gained full authorisation from the FCA way back in November 2016 and launched its Innovative Finance ISA in February the next year. Now, a full 12 months after launching the tax wrapper, 82 per cent of investors in the ISA have beaten the advertised 6 per cent target return. Those investors have three IFISA products to pick from: the passive Growth ISA, the Income ISA and the active Self-Select ISA.
“Having laid solid foundations for the business over the last couple of years, we now have a position in the market that is starting to pay dividends,” said Stuart Lunn, CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd. “We have a strong pipeline of both investors and SME demand and with such a strong trajectory, we are now actively speaking to the venture capital and private equity communities about our next phase of growth.”