UK BOND Network has announced that Vela Technologies is raising £550,000 in debt finance through its platform.
The peer-to-peer bond auction platform said on Wednesday that Vela, the Aim-quoted investment company focused on early-stage technology ventures, will invest £150,000 of the proceeds from the bond issue in Portr, an on-demand airport luggage transfer service that trades as AirPortr.
UK Bond Network has arranged underwriting for the bond, which will have a coupon of 10 per cent and a term of three years. It is secured by an all-assets debenture on Vela and a fixed charge over Vela’s shares in Portr. Further protection for bondholders is provided through a personal guarantee by Scott Fletcher, chairman of UK Bond Network and a shareholder in Vela.
“Vela has a track record in identifying promising growth companies,” said Chris Maule, chief executive and founder of UK Bond Network. “UK Bond Network is assisting Vela with additional funding to boost its existing stake in the growing travel technology company, Portr. UK Bond Network chairman, Scott Fletcher, is an existing shareholder in Portr and to demonstrate his belief in the company, is personally guaranteeing the bond’s repayment.”
“This fundraising through UK Bond Network enables our current as well as new investors to support our continued investment strategy by participating in a non-dilutive structure,” said Antony Laiker, executive director of Vela. “The launch of Portr’s partnership with British Airways in October 2016 was an important milestone, significantly raising the profile and visibility of the AirPortr brand to a wider travel audience.”
UK Bond Network was recently authorised as an ISA manager by HMRC, having received full approval from the Financial Conduct Authority last November. It has partnered with P2P technology provider Goji and plans to launch its Innovative Finance ISA within the next few weeks.
Rules that came into effect on 1 November 2016 allow crowdfunded debt securities in the IFISA, enabling the platform to offer the product.