LendingCrowd funds 33 Scottish SMEs after partnership deal
LENDINGCROWD has completed 33 loan deals to companies in Scotland after forming a partnership with economic development agency Scottish Enterprise a year ago.
The Edinburgh-based peer-to-peer lender said the deals amounted to a total of £3m.
Last October, Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm, the Scottish Enterprise Investment Bank, agreed to provide LendingCrowd with £2.75m to lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across its platform.
Loan deals have been inked with Summerhall Distillery, the producer of spirits brand Pickering’s Gin; restaurant chain Tony Macaroni; and property lettings agency Umega Lettings.
Stuart Lunn, chief executive and co-founder of LendingCrowd (pictured right with Summerhall’s Matthew Gammell and Marcus Pickering), said the platform is targeting £15m of loans to Scottish SMEs in 2018, more than a third of the £40m it plans to lend across the UK.
Deals for 2017 are expected to amount to £18m in total, compared with £4.5m in 2016.
It comes after LendingCrowd revealed August was a record month, with £2.5m of funds flowing into the platform.
Lunn said much of the growth in investor funds has been driven by the launch of its Innovative Finance ISA in February, which came shortly after it received full Financial Conduct Authority authorisation.
“The flexibility of our funding packages combined with our ability to offer a highly personalised service and much quicker turnarounds on loan decisions than are available on the high street are starting to make an impression in the Scottish market,” he added.
To help drive growth, LendingCrowd hired former RBS and Clydesdale Bank director Adrian Innes in September to lead business development activity.
LendingCrowd has over 4,000 investors signed up to its platform.
Deals range from £20,000 to over £1m, and include the £1.5m debt finance transaction for Diet Chef in 2015 – one of the biggest peer-to-business deals in the UK to date.