Paul Riddell, head of marketing and communications at Lendy, explains the importance of fresh thinking within the property finance space
IN OCTOBER 2017, peer-to-peer property platform Lendy celebrated its fifth birthday. But while most companies spend their first half-decade building a brand, Lendy had already hit several major milestones.
In just five years, the platform has built a reputation for constant innovation, customer engagement, and flexibility. And through its high-profile sponsorship of the Cowes Week sailing regatta, it has helped to champion the UK’s P2P sector as a whole. According to the platform’s head of marketing and communications, Paul Riddell, this is just the beginning.
“P2P has really moved on from the alternative finance space into the mainstream, as the high street banks have cut back on lending,” says Riddell.
“I think that’s enabled the sector to introduce lots of fresh thinking and new ideas and innovation into the alternative finance space and to enable lots of property projects to go ahead, which perhaps wouldn’t have happened without us.”
For Lendy, technology has been incredibly important in driving the growth of its platform. The company is very active on social media, and it is constantly asking its investors for feedback on its offerings.
Riddell believes that it is this commitment to improvement that has fuelled its success.
“With the emergence of eBay and Amazon and those sorts of platforms, people have become a lot more comfortable with technology,” he says.
“A lot of P2P players have been deploying intuitive technology and easy-to-use platforms, and I think innovations will come from the ability of alternative finance platforms to be a lot closer to the customer than some of the larger banks have been able to do.”
Lendy offers returns of between seven per cent and 12 per cent to its investors – slightly higher than its rival P2P property platforms.
And unlike the majority of its competitors, Lendy is profitable.
“We’re one of two platforms that actually make money, which means we can invest our own money in growing the business without having to borrow from a different funding stream,” says Riddell.
This company investment will be put to good use as Lendy approaches its sixth birthday. There are now approximately 21,000 users on the platform, and this is set to grow even further in the near future as Lendy heads towards Financial Conduct Authority authorisation and builds further on its investor and borrower base.
Riddell also says that the firm will be investing in its underlying technology and making new hires
across the board.
“We have a heavily-detailed route map from an IT perspective over the next 12 months, so it’s really about making the platform as strong as we can and continue to attract fresh talent as well,” he adds.
As for the rest of the P2P property sector, Riddell says that it is a “surprisingly healthy” market at the moment.
“I think the P2P property sector is going to go from strength to strength over the next 12 to 18 months, despite the economic challenges,” says Riddell. “I think we’ve got a very strong sector now.”
Click here for more information on the investment opportunities offered by Lendy.