Blend Network’s chief of strategy has outlined intentions for the peer-to-peer property lending platform to partner with more traditional lenders in future.
Blend Network has previously partnered with Barclays, whereby the bank refers rejected cases to the P2P platform,
Speaking to the Coffee with Innovate Finance podcast, Roxana Mohammadian-Molina said that Blend Network has more “very exciting” partnerships coming up with challenger banks and other lenders.
She said the platform can hopefully announce these later this year.
“What’s very important in the tech industry and finance industry is partnerships and collaboration,” Mohammadian-Molina said.
“Increasingly, alternative lending is becoming part of the mainstream finance ecosystem and it’s really not about traditional banks versus alternative lenders but all of us together.
“We work with traditional leaders, they don’t lend on some deals that are appealing to us and we’ve funded some deals referred to us from Barclays.
“Traditional lenders are referring deals to us and we are referring deals too large for us to traditional lenders, it’s about collaboration.”
Mohammadian-Molina cited a YouGov survey which found more than half of women have never had an investment product and said Blend Network has been working to change that, with nearly half of their investors made up of women.
“I think we have a large proportion of women investors for a combination of factors, the security of brick and mortar, the fact you are investing in something tangible and making a difference, they love seeing the picture of the property as the development progresses, and a lot of our property developers are women,” she said in the podcast.
“Women tend to like investing when the borrower is a woman as well, supporting the community so we are very happy to have a large share of women investors and would love to have even more.
“I would love to encourage women to actively research and invest, I always say never rely on one source of income.”
Blend Network recently appointed Chloe Stidston-Lewis as a lending associate. Stidston-Lewis joined from Propfin where she worked as a portfolio analyst.
“We’ve been hiring very aggressively and will announce even more,” Mohammadian-Molina said.
“This week we’ve opened another office.
“We want to work with traditional lenders and challenger banks and want to make the fintech industry bigger and better for everyone and to make it very inclusive, so collaboration will be key as part of our announcements in 2021.”
In August 2018, Blend Network provided a £250,000 facility to County Down Developments for the development of four luxury apartments in Bangor, Northern Ireland.
After rejecting the housebuilder’s application for finance, Barclays, using the government’s bank referral scheme, passed on the case to the P2P platform.