Samir Desai (CBE)

Funding Circle

CEO and co-founder

Samir is responsible for driving the company’s strategy, managing the company’s finances and overseeing Funding Circle globally. Funding Circle is the world’s leading lending platform for small business finance. Set up in 2010, investors have lent £4 billion to 42,000 businesses across the UK, US and Europe. In the UK, lending through Funding Circle has supported the creation of ~80,000 new jobs, and for every £1 lent, approximately £2 is added to the economy. Funding Circle loans are funded by a diverse array of investors including over 72,000 individuals, local and national government, financial institutions, and the first single platform direct lending fund - Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF). 10% of lending now comes from national and supra-national government following partnerships with the British Business Bank, KfW, the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. Before founding Funding Circle, Samir was an Executive at Olivant and a management consultant at BCG advising a number of major UK and global banks and insurers on strategy, new product initiatives, and operational efficiency. Funding Circle is one of the best capitalised platforms globally, having raised over £250 million from some of the world’s largest investors.

Event Sessions Featuring Samir Desai (CBE)

Fireside Chat

Small business; big global impact

London Summit 2018 - 26th March 2018

  • Funding Circle’s chief says the firm is seeing strong growth across geographies and that it has now originated over £4bn of loans in total with £1.75bn in the past year alone.
  • Desai says that the Brexit process has not so far derailed demand for P2P loans from SMEs because small business lending is still neglected by big banks who have actually pulled back somewhat since the referendum.
  • He ends by saying that Funding Circle is also very bullish on the prospects for alternative lending in continental Europe.


To be or not to be a bank

AltFi Europe Summit 2017 - 30th March 2017

Articles Featuring Samir Desai (CBE)