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Peer2Peer Finance News | October 18, 2017

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Proplend embarks on equity fundraising to scale up the business

Proplend embarks on equity fundraising to scale up the business
Suzie Neuwirth

PROPLEND has completed an initial equity funding round and is now embarking on a second fund raise targeting institutional investors, to accelerate its growth over the next five years.

London-based merchant bank Salamanca Group, which is facilitating both fundraising rounds, said it had received “a high level of interest” throughout the process. It has also acquired a stake in the company.

Peer-to-peer property lender Proplend said that the money raised will be used to recruit business development professionals, invest in the platform’s technology and strengthen its marketing activities.

Proplend would not disclose how much money was raised in the initial funding round, nor the target for the second fundraising.

“We are thrilled to complete the initial funding round for the UK leader in the commercial online lending marketplace from private investors,” said Chris Pearson, head of special situations and corporate advisory at Salamanca Group.

Read more: Feature: Hot property

“As we progress into the Series B fund raise, our focus will switch to institutional investors. We look forward to continuing to work with Proplend as they grow their business.”

Proplend offers retail and institutional investors access to UK commercial property opportunities, with a minimum investment of £1,000. The platform, which launched its Innovative Finance ISA in May, has supported over £22.8m of lending to date. Lenders can expect returns ranging between five and 12 per cent.

Read more: Proplend plans IFISA extension but warns of bank-like inefficiencies

Proplend’s current equity investors include Eamonn O’Hare, the former chief financial officer of Virgin Media and Peter Johnson, the founder and former chairman of Park Group.

“Proplend continues to prosper by combining a first-class product in an underserviced sector with a first-class senior team, which has sustained growth reputationally and operationally within the business,” said Brian Bartaby, chief executive of Proplend.

“This critical stage of funding unlocks further potential to elevate the business to the next stage – an exciting period where we expect to grow rapidly. We appreciate the ongoing support from shareholders and welcome new investors to our growing company.”

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