Amid a major fundraising effort, Chris Hancock, chief executive of Crowd2Fund, explains why his platform is for entrepreneurs, funded by entrepreneurs…
INNOVATION SEEMS to follow Crowd2Fund. It was one of the first peer-to-peer lending platforms to gain Innovative Finance ISA manager status, and it is arguably one of the ‘purest’ P2P platforms on the market today. Unlike most of its competitors, Crowd2Fund does not offer pooled returns to its investors. Instead, investors can hand pick each and every loan that they want to invest in, earning average annual returns of 10.46 per cent, before fees and bad debt – tax free.
This commitment to total transparency and competitive rates has won the platform legions of fans. In fact, by the end of 2018, Crowd2Fund had recorded a massive 317 per cent in annual growth, bringing its current valuation to £35m.
And chief executive Chris Hancock has big plans to increase the company’s value even more dramatically in the year ahead.
“We’re looking to lend more than £30m over the next twelve months which will bring our company valuation up to almost £70m,” says Hancock. “By 2022, we are targeting £3bn in lending, generating £180m in revenue.”
To kick start this growth, Crowd2Fund is releasing £2m of shares for private investors. For the first time, these shares are being offered to non-Crowd2Fund users, as the platform hopes to grow its private ownership base from 121 high-net-worth individuals to 450.
Given the company’s strong growth over the past two years, Hancock has forecast a 10x – 20x return for private shareholders within the next five to 10 years. Any funds invested will also be eligible for 30 per cent tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
“What makes us different from an incumbent platform or a bank is that we give the investors ultimate control of their money because they select loans based on their own due diligence,” says Hancock. “Other platforms don’t offer that. We are part of a new wave of highly innovative platforms that can offer more innovation, more technology, and a better user experience.”
Crowd2Fund will soon launch a slew of new features that underline its commitment to innovation. In the second quarter of this year, an opt-in ‘contingency fund’ will be introduced, allowing investors to effectively pool their losses to minimise risk. The platform also intends to open up the recoveries process to investors, as part of its efforts to make the lending experience as transparent as possible.
According to Hancock, investors will be able to take a more active role in the recovery process by monitoring payments and payment reminders, and voting on how to manage a distressed loan. This is the level of control and transparency that his business-focused investor base wants to see in a P2P platform, Hancock says.
“We are the platform for entrepreneurs,” he adds. “We are funded by entrepreneurs, and we are for entrepreneurs – whether you’re an investor entrepreneur or a business owner you’re by default an entrepreneur.”
As the platform races towards its next milestone, it seems the entrepreneurs have already taken notice.
Find out more about the Crowd2Fund platform and download the in-depth whitepaper at investment.crowd2fund.com.