Former peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Empire has applied to have its regulatory permissions cancelled, just four years after the business lender was acquired by Downing.
According to a note on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register, Funding Empire asked to cancel its FCA authorisation on 30 November 2021. The request is still pending. However, the Funding Empire website is no longer active.
Funding Empire was launched as the first crowdfunding platform in Wales in 2012. It stopped new lending in 2016 following a management buyout by its senior executives while they awaited full FCA regulation.
However, Downing – the parent company of Downing Crowd – made an offer to purchase the platform in 2017, and the takeover was approved in 2018.
Downing had previously adopted Funding Empire’s technology in October 2016, and had also worked with the founders, Parag Patel, Jon Levy and Dinesh Patel, to launch Downing Crowd’s own in-house investment platform.
According to LinkedIn, Parag Patel went on to become investor relationship director at Downing, but left the company in February 2022 and is now head of strategic delivery at Pepper Money.
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Levy took a position as head of software engineering at Downing, before leaving in March 2022 to become a project manager at crypto platform BlockFi.
Only Dinesh Patel remains at Downing, as director of technology.
Funding Empire and Downing have been contacted for comment.