CROWDSTACKER, one of the only platforms currently authorised to offer the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), is now seeing half of its investment coming via the tax-free product, its chief executive has said.
The company launched in June 2015, making it too late to receive interim permission from the Financial Conduct Authority, but ended up getting its full authorisation before those firms which did have the interim licence.
“That’s obviously played to our advantage,” Karteek Patel told Peer-to-Peer Finance News.
“There will be more competition once other platforms get approval, but that also means there will be more exposure and larger volumes picking up. It will be good for raising awareness.”
Patel added that he believes Crowdstacker will maintain its appeal over some of the larger platforms due to investors’ ability to “pick and choose” which companies they want to lend to, rather than leaving the decision down to the platform itself.
Industry commentators have questioned whether companies with IFISA approval will become attractive takeover targets by companies looking to gain a licence to offer their own IFISAs, especially considering how onerous the FCA process has been.
Patel did not rule out the possibility of selling Crowdstacker, which has lent £11m to date.
“Obviously we’re always interested in potential opportunities out there,” he said.
“But we’re keen to grow our business and achieve our goals.”