PEER-TO-PEER lender Ablrate will open its £350,000 crowdfunding campaign to the general public on Friday 1 February, after raising £156,000 through private investments.
The campaign, which is now live on Crowdcube, was initially launched on 11 January with the goal of raising £350,000, but Ablrate’s chief executive David Bradley-Ward said that he would accept a total of £1m in investments, should the campaign exceed its target. In return for their investment, the Crowdcube funders are being offered shared equity of 1.3 per cent in Ablrate, which values the P2P lender at £26m.
“From the beginning we have aimed to provide fair returns for the risk being taken by our lenders,” said David Bradley-Ward, chief executive of Ablrate. “That should be no different for our shareholders.
“We have seen many competitor companies raising funds at large valuations before they have even proven they can make sustainable revenue, that would be against our very ethos.”
The latest funding round will be primarily used to increase loan origination. Ablrate also plans to hire new marketing staff and invest in automated marketing technology and CRM systems, as well as introducing a new underwriter program that will assist with loan origination.
The platform also intends to expand its blockchain-based ASMX software, which will connect lending communities and create an international secondary market for private corporate debt accessible by an international pool of lenders.
Since it was founded in 2014, Ablrate has funded more than £44m in asset-backed loans, as well as £33m on its secondary market. Lenders have made average returns of between ten and 15 per cent.
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