BLEND Network’s chief executive has said that Brexit “definitely impacted” the peer-to-peer property lender’s strategy and heralded the opportunity it presents for Northern Ireland.
Yann Murciano told Peer2Peer Finance News that the UK’s upcoming departure from the EU gives Northern Ireland the chance to be a “super province”, with access to both the UK and EU markets due to its position next to the Republic of Ireland.
“We have been lending more to Northern Ireland,” he said.
“I think the property market in London will be stable over the next few years but we will not see growth.”
Blend Network’s latest annual results showed a £81,405 loss for the 12 months to 30 June 2019.
Murciano noted that this was the P2P property lender’s first full year in operation and that it has been investing in technology, staff and compliance.
Blend Network secured £10m of seed funding in late 2018, from investors including Cyrus Ardalan, former vice chair of Barclays and current chair of OakNorth Bank and Citigroup Global Markets, the family office of Publicis Group chairman Maurice Levy and Jean-Phillipe Blochet, co-founder of hedge fund Brevan Howard.
“All of our stakeholders are lending through the platform,” Murciano said.
“Everyone has skin in the game, including me.
“That was key for us – not to go to the venture capitalists to scale up quickly, but to find the right investors.”
Blend Network is nearing £10m of lending, Murciano said.
Investors can earn returns ranging from eight to 12 per cent via the platform, with a minimum investment level of £1,000.