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Peer2Peer Finance News | August 19, 2019

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Blend Network launches with vow to be the “Goldman Sachs of P2P”

Blend Network launches with vow to be the “Goldman Sachs of P2P”
Kathryn Gaw

A NEW peer-to-peer lending platform has launched, with the aim of becoming the “Goldman Sachs of P2P”.

Blend Network will offer asset-backed property loans to retail and high-net-worth individuals, as well as hedge funds and other institutional investors. P2P specialist F&P will act as introducer for all of its loans, although Blend Network’s chief executive Yann Murciano said that he would be open to further partnerships in the future, as the business scales up.

“What I’m looking to achieve is good service and good quality deals,” he said. “We want to be the Goldman Sachs of P2P in that respect.”

Read more: P2P specialist F&P mulls platform launch

Murciano, a former Morgan Stanley executive, told Peer2Peer Finance News that the platform officially went live two weeks ago and began listing its first loans last week. Within seven days of the loans going up, the platform had received more than £350,000 in funding from a small network of investors.

“We’ve had people registering already, even though we haven’t done any marketing yet,” said Murciano. “Our lenders are a mix of people from our own professional networks and people who were following F&P in the past. Bankers, brokers, and hedge fund guys.

“We didn’t want to do any marketing during the summer as people are away, but we’ll launch a bit more loudly in September.”

Read more: Platforms could face conflict of interest from investors

All loans are expected to offer between eight and 15 per cent in interest, depending on the risk profile. There is a minimum investment of £1,000, and all other investments must be made in £1,000 increments. Every loan has been vetted by F&P as well as Blend Network’s own in-house due diligence team. Murciano said that the platform will only ever offer secured loans.

“All our deals are introduced by F&P,” said Murciano. “They’ve completed more than £100m of deals, so we’re coming in with a partner who has a strong experience.”

F&P acts as a sponsor within the P2P sector, introducing borrowers to a range of lenders. It has a long-standing relationship with platforms such as ThinCats. Murciano added that these relationships will not be affected by the Blend Network launch.

The platform is still awaiting full Financial Conduct Authority authorisation, and currently operates under appointed representative status. Murciano said that once full authorisation has been received, it may launch an Innovative Finance ISA. In the meantime, the platform’s investment opportunities are already available through a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) plan.

Read more: A guide to P2P property investments