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P2P lender Fellow Finance plans to go public

The Finnish-based platform is the latest mid-sized P2P lender to announce plans for an initial public offering.

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There has been a significant increase in the number of mid-sized P2P lenders who have gone public - or are currently in the process of doing so - in the last three months.

Raize, a Portuguese based fintech, was the first platform to float back in July and listed on the Lisbon stock exchange. It was the first initial public offering (IPO) in Portugal since 2014, offering up to 15 per cent of its shares with a market cap of €10m. Then there was the German-based lender, Creditshelf,which aimed to raise €15-20m through floating its shares on the Frankfurt stock exchange. Finally, there is Funding Circle which is being valued at approximately £1.5bn and is hoping to raise a huge £300m when it floats in October.

Now it is the Finnish-based lender’s turn, Fellow Finance, to go public. Currently raising capital through crowdfunding, it prides itself on being the only eurozone platform that connects individuals, businesses and investors. Established in 2013, the platform has €302m in assets, over a third of which has been accumulated in the last year.

Fellow Finance stated the purpose of the IPO is to assist with the international growth of the company as well as creating more awareness of its services. Additionally, it is hoping to increase the number of its shareholders and gain access to capital markets. The estimated valuation the company is set to fetch through the share issue is €10m.

The company’s chairman, Kai Myllyneva, and two members of the board of directors, Esa Laurila and Jorma Alanne, have given their commitments to pre-subscribe for approximately €4.6m worth of shares once the IPO is live. The shares will be listed on the NASDAQ First North Finland marketplace. No date has been specified for when the float will commence but it usually takes up to one month from the announcement.

Taaleri is currently the majority shareholder of Fellow Finance and is hopeful that it will continue to be, following the IPO. CEO of Taaleri, Juhani Elomaa, said: “At Taaleri, we consider that time is right for evaluating the listing of Fellow Finance, in order to facilitate the execution of the Company’s strategy aiming at significant continued growth. We want to be there to support Fellow Finance’s success story also in the future”.

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