Investment manager Downing has completed the acquisition of Funding Empire, a peer-to-peer lender and the company behind Downing Crowd’s platform technology. Downing's own crowdfunding platform, Downing Crowd, which launched in March 2016 has since raised over £80m on behalf of small UK businesses, having launched 35 Bonds.
The final acquisition of the Funding Empire business has now been authorised by the FCA.Funding Empire’s existing investors will not be automatically moved over to Downing’s own platform but existing Funding Empire members and investors will be offered a special rate on their first bond investment. Funding Empire continues to administer repayments for historic loans originated on the platform, but will not be issuing any new loans. Funding Empire’s technology and operations will continue to be based in Downing’s new ‘Tech Hub’ in Cardiff, which is home to 10 employees and complements the 140-strong workforce in its London office.
Partner at Downing LLP and Head of Downing Crowd, Julia Groves, says: "Some areas of the P2P market have been attracting headlines for all the wrong reasons recently but Funding Empire has long since stood out to us for both its excellent track record, as well as its clear technology expertise.
“We feel this acquisition brings together the best of both worlds – the innovative technology of a P2P platform business with the scale and long track record of an investment management firm, with over £1 billion of funds under management.”