FUNDING Circle is readying to hire advisers to prepare for a £1bn-plus float later this year.
The peer-to-peer business lender has reportedly told investment banks that it will hold a beauty parade before the end of the first quarter of 2018, which a London stock market flotation possible as soon as late autumn.
Sky News, which first reported the story, also cited sources that said Funding Circle is likely to comfortably exceed the $1bn (£738m) valuation it hit when it raised £82m of new funding in January, with some existing investors believing the company could be worth as much as £2bn.
A syndicate of investment banks is expected to be hired by the spring, they added.
Funding Circle’s chief executive and co-founder Samir Desai recently told Peer2Peer Finance News about his ambitious plans for growth. He said that the company – which has now lent out over £3bn in the UK – is targeting £100bn a year of new lending, which would create three million new jobs a year.
The UK’s P2P sector is yet to see a stock market flotation, despite rumours surrounding Funding Circle and fellow ‘big three’ platform RateSetter.
RateSetter’s chief executive Rhydian Lewis has confirmed the company’s plans to float, although no specific timeframe has been confirmed.