GOJI, the peer-to-peer investment manager and Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) administrator, has announced a multi-million-pound funding round led by Anthemis and AXA Strategic Ventures (ASV).
The firm said on Wednesday that their backing is a sign of confidence in alternative lending assets in the financial adviser market.
Anthemis is a global fintech investor which has previously backed companies such as US automated investing service Betterment.
ASV invests in enterprise software, fintech, consumer tech and digital health companies, from seed stage through to growth equity. It manages $450m (£333m), of which $275M is allocated into direct investments and $175M is directed to the fund of funds activity.
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The exact size of the investment into Goji was not disclosed, but it is thought to be on par with Anthemis and ASV’s recent ventures, which have tended to be in the single-digit-millions of pounds.
“Anthemis is dedicated to reinventing financial services for the digital world by cultivating change and new business models,” said Yann Ranchere, partner, Anthemis.
“The development of new asset classes is an important part of this change and Goji personifies this vision by combining a strong technology platform with a clear focus on the direct lending sector.”
François Robinet, managing partner at ASV, added: “We believe that the unique, integrated direct lending solutions provided by Goji will create real differentiation in the asset management industry and will contribute to position direct lending as a major asset class for investors.”
The money raised will be used to develop Goji’s platform and product pipeline, including its diversified P2P lending bond. The debt facility, launched in early 2017, provides investors access with a diversified portfolio of over 1,000 loans in an IFISA using Goji’s investment strategy.
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“Confidence in direct lending as an asset class is picking up pace and the investment Goji has received from Anthemis and ASV, both highly regarded industry players, is testament to this,” said Jake Wombwell-Povey, chief executive of Goji.
“We believe we are in a perfect storm; equities are considered by many to be overvalued, traditional fixed income and cash are yielding well below inflation and investors need a new solution. Within this context direct lending can deliver positive investor outcomes in a fairer, more purpose-driven way.”