IRISH peer-to-peer lender Linked Finance has raised €2m (£1.79m) in an equity fundraising to support its expansion plans.
The funding round was led by the company’s original backers, venture capital firm Frontline Ventures. In addition, 28 individual investors who are active on Linked Finance’s platform participated in the round.
Linked Finance said the proceeds from the fundraising will be used to boost its sales and marketing activity, with a wider strategic aim of raising awareness of P2P lending and attracting a wider audience of Irish business borrowers.
The firm, which recently hired former Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley as its chairman, was launched in early 2013. Since then, it has lent over €34.5m to small- and medium-sized enterprises, with more than €14.2m already repaid to lenders.
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“It is fantastic that we have been able to practice what we preach, harnessing the power of the crowd to open this investment round to some of our most active users,” said chief executive Niall Dorrian.
“These lenders are people who know the platform inside out, they know what it’s like to lend on the site and they really believe in what we do. It’s great to have them on board, and also to have the continuing support of Frontline Ventures.”
In May, Linked Finance gained approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, although it is unconfirmed as to whether the company has ambitions to expand into the UK market.
“It puts us ahead of the curve in terms of preparing for any regulation of the sector in Ireland,” said Dorrian at the time. “It also demonstrates to lenders and borrowers here at home that Linked Finance operates to the highest standards.”