Israel’s BLender to expand into Europe
BLENDER, the Israeli peer-to-peer finance platform being primed by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) for a flotation, is expanding into Europe.
The company, which was the first P2P lender chosen by the British Chamber of Commerce to participate in the LSE’s business scale-up programme in April this year, is opening new offices in Milan, Italy and Vilnius, Lithuania.
“Offering multi-national P2P lending has been our vision since BLender’s establishment,” chief executive Dr. Gal Aviv told Israeli business publication Finance Magnates.
The LSE’s business development programme, named Elite, was first launched by Italy-based exchange Borsa Italiana in 2012. It was then replicated in the UK in 2014.
The stock exchange group describes it as “a programme of structured engagement developing and supporting ambitious private companies through their next stage of growth”, through education, business support and mentoring over an 18-month period.
An initial public offering is not the only aim of the programme, but part of the selection process is considering the company’s desire to float in the near future.
BLender is reportedly planning to expand into Africa, Latin America and more EU countries next year.
Last year, the company secured $5m (£3.8m) in funding, led by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Blumberg Capital. It is using the capital to finance its international growth strategy in countries where it sees a lack of consumer credit or insufficient yield on savings.