FUNDING Circle’s US division has named PayPal executive Bernardo Martinez as its new managing director.
Martinez, who was previously head of US small business lending at the online payments giant, replaces Sam Hodges, who will become chairman of Funding Circle US.
Prior to PayPal, Martinez was chief product and marketing officer at Banco Dominicano del Progreso and spent six years at Bank of America working within its small business banking division.
The management changes follow rapid growth for the peer-to-peer lending platform in the US, with more than $1bn (£716m) lent in the country since 2014 and $500m in 2017 alone.
“Bernardo’s deep experience and knowledge of small businesses in the US makes him the perfect fit for one of our fastest growing markets,” said Samir Desai, chief executive and co-founder of Funding Circle.
“I am delighted he has joined the team to spearhead our next stage of growth. These are exciting times for Funding Circle in the US Over the last five years, we have established ourselves as the largest small business loans platform, and we have ambitious plans for the future.”
In January, Funding Circle US unveiled a strategic partnership with Intrust Bank, a regional lender based in Kansas. The initial phase will consist of Intrust funding US small business loans originated through Funding Circle’s platform.
The later stages will include increased investment, with a view to a multi-year funding programme, and joint digital and direct marketing campaigns.
Funding Circle, which launched in the UK in 2010, has now lent more than $5bn to more than 40,000 businesses globally.