After weathering the Covid-19 pandemic, Invest & Fund is ready to ramp up its growth plans, says the company’s chairman Robert Burgess…
Growth is on the horizon for Invest & Fund, after the peer-to-peer property lending platform weathered the Covid-19 crisis with an impeccable lending record.
As well as supporting its borrower community, Invest & Fund has remained open to lenders throughout the past year, and has continued to pay out interest rates of between 6.5 and 7.5 per cent to its investors.
“We didn’t close our doors,” says Invest & Fund’s chairman Robert Burgess (pictured). “Indeed we were one of the few platforms to have a fully functioning secondary market throughout.
“We have come out of the pandemic with a totally clean credit book, no losses of capital, no losses of yield, and no distressed cases. And we’ve worked with many property developers that have actually completed sites and gone on to make sales.”
18 months ago – just before the start of the pandemic – Invest & Fund started to lay the foundations for its future growth.
Over the next 12 months, the platform plans to further upgrade its technology and scale up its capacity. A series of new hires will soon be announced, particularly within the business development team and the senior team.
Burgess says that the expertise and experience of Invest & Fund’s staff has been essential over the past year.
During the pandemic, the platform’s credit team has worked very closely with borrowers to make sure that they were supported. The company’s ability to survive the Covid downturn proves the maturity of the P2P sector, Burgess says.
Now, Invest & Fund is well placed for strong and sustained growth over the coming months.
“We have great credibility with developers,” says Burgess. “They know how we behave during challenging periods. And because of our proven credit credentials, we can now take advantage of the opportunities that always come out of these periods. We’re unencumbered and in a good place to do that.”
The pandemic has “shaken out the P2P market” says Burgess. This has led some players to leave the P2P space, while others have raised their profile and credibility during a trying time.
“P2P is starting to come onto people’s radar as a very credible alternative,” says Burgess. “The pandemic has increased the sector’s profile. In times of high pressure, there is always the chance to stand out.”
Invest & Fund is certainly ready to stand out. It has a highly specialised credit analysis division, which is “people based, knowledge based, and experience based”, says Burgess.
But investments in new technology are expected to streamline the company’s back office processes in the year ahead. Over the next six to nine months, Invest & Fund will introduce a whole programme of automation in those areas where there doesn’t need to be human action.
The platform is also exploring new partnerships and seeking to expand its investor base to include both institutional and retail investors. However, Burgess is quick to add that Invest & Fund will always cater to retail investors.
“We’re in a great place and we are continuing to grow rapidly,” he adds.
“We know there is huge demand, but we are also helping investors understand the quality of the asset class for their business models, because it’s stable, highly secure, and comes with very low volatility.
“For us, it very much feels as though all the moons have aligned. We are ready for safe, rapid growth.”
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