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Peer2Peer Finance News | January 18, 2019

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Ablrate takes equity stake in Huddle

Ablrate takes equity stake in Huddle
Suzie Neuwirth

ABLRATE has taken an equity stake in fellow peer-to-peer lender Huddle, as part of a wider strategic partnership between the two platforms.

Asset-backed lender Ablrate has worked with Huddle since the latter’s launch in April 2017, providing its technology and other support such as compliance.

Under the new deal, Ablrate has taken a minority holding in the business lender and the two platforms will share their investor bases.

The previous agreement to share Ablrate’s technology and other services will continue.

Huddle and Ablrate will still operate as standalone businesses. Their respective types of lending mean that the businesses are “complementary, not conflicting”, according to a Huddle spokesperson.

“We do smaller deals – below £250,000 – and a broader mix, such as unsecured or mezzanine loans,” said the Huddle spokesperson.

“In comparison, Ablrate is more focused on larger asset-backed loans above £250,000.”

Read more: Huddle: Back to basics

Huddle has already seen 35 new investor sign-ups since Ablrate announced the deal to its customers on Wednesday, the spokesperson added.

“Having worked with Ablrate for nearly three years in various capacities the deal seems like a natural step to cement our working relationship further,” the spokesperson said.

“Working with a company that not only provides us market-leading tech but also understand how to build a successful P2P lending business from the ground up is just common sense.”

David Bradley-Ward, chief executive of Ablrate, said that the deal is part of a strategic plan that the platform will be unveiling shortly.

“We have worked with the Huddle guys from their inception and we are looking forward to upgrading their tech to the latest version and helping the company move to their next stage of development,” he said. “We have been working on an idea for the last year that we feel will be groundbreaking, but you will have to wait a short time to hear the details.”

Read more: Ablrate considers buying Collateral’s loan book

The news comes as Huddle unveils a separate funding deal to boost its property lending capabilities. The platform has secured a deal with a property funder, based in the North of England, who will underwrite all property loans that are originated on Huddle’s platform.

This will enable Huddle to provide a higher frequency of property loans over the coming months.

Huddle has recently originated its largest business loan to date, a £119,000 facility for an established leisure operator, offering returns of 16 per cent.

Read more: Ablrate launches first portfolio loan product