UK-BASED peer-to-peer lender Prodigy Finance has secured $1bn (£761m) in available debt finance as it aims to expand its student funding programme.
The financing primarily consists of $900m from institutions including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, M&G Investments and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
Other investors include schools, family offices and high-net-worth individuals participating in Prodigy Finance’s international bond programme, which was distributed by Credit Suisse.
Prodigy Finance, which shares backers with ‘big three’ P2P lenders Zopa and Funding Circle, provides education loans to international students attending top universities around the world. Funding options can be limited for these students, particularly for those coming from emerging markets.
It plans to use its latest fundraise to expand its offering to more students worldwide, particularly in the field of engineering and at US universities and colleges.
“The world is increasingly global and connected, yet the banking industry has not kept pace,” said Cameron Stevens, chief executive of Prodigy Finance.
“Traditional lenders are bound by local legal constraints, local data, as well as local repayments and collections, which ties an applicant’s credit profile to their location
“For example, if you’re born and live in the US you will have greater choice and access to financial services and credit.
“However, if you’re born in Ghana and want to study abroad, you’re more likely to be unbanked.
“We’ve worked hard over the years to change this. Our global credit model has allowed us to help international students with limited or no funding options to gain access to life-changing opportunities and become the next generation of leaders around the world.”
To date, Prodigy Finance has helped over 11,200 students from 132 countries borrow more than $538m.
Prodigy Finance counts Betfair’s Ed Wray and Balderton Capital among its equity backers, who have also supported Funding Circle and Zopa respectively.