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Peer2Peer Finance News | September 19, 2019

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ThinCats continues trend for larger deals with £3m loan to food chain

ThinCats continues trend for larger deals with £3m loan to food chain
Suzie Neuwirth

THINCATS has originated one of its largest loans this year to healthy food chain Abokado, as the peer-to-peer lender looks to scale up its lending with larger deals.

The platform, which originates loans for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has provided £3m in growth funding to the London-based food chain to support its expansion plans.

A spokesperson for ThinCats said that the Abokado facility is one of its biggest this year to date and that its average loan size this year has been around £1.1m.

“We love funding growing and ambitious businesses that have identified gaps in the market and we are delighted to be able to play our part in such an exciting retail success story,” said Dave Sherrington, business originator, London and South at ThinCats.

“The hands-on approach of our combined origination and credit team at ThinCats has not only enabled this particular transaction but has provided a platform for a strong partnership going forward.”

Read more: ThinCats offers £100m funding for manufacturing firms

Abokado’s founder and chief executive Mark Lilley (pictured right with his wife Lindsay Lilley) said the ThinCats loan would be used to expand its store footprint, boost its senior management team and invest in its brand.

“There are some very profitable, growing businesses in the hospitality and food and beverage space and it has become clear that banks need to evolve faster and change their appetite to risk for this sector or miss out on the excellent opportunities that are otherwise being captured by alternative finance companies such as ThinCats,” he added.

ThinCats sees a ‘sweet spot’ for loans ranging between £1m and £5m that high street banks tend to be reluctant to service.

In a recent interview with Peer2Peer Finance News, ThinCats chief executive John Mould said that “UK SMEs are very underserved for debt” and struggle to borrow more than £200,000.

ThinCats, which is majority owned by ESF Capital, completed a £200m institutional funding round last October. It achieved a record lending level of £12m last December, following its biggest-ever loan of £6.7m to the Chelsea Yacht & Boat Company at the end of September.