London start-up Funding Circle raises $58m & launches in US

Funding Circle, a business designed to help firms avoid difficulties lending from banks by connecting them directly with investors, is expanding its UK operation into America.

The business is joining forces with San Francisco-based business lender Endurance Lending Network, to bring the UK team together with a company that will offer local knowledge, experience and cutting-edge technology.

In total, Funding Circle has raised $58m (£35m) in equity funding, led by a $37m investment by venture and growth equity company Accel Partners.

Funding Circle says the investments will “be used to support the growth of the business in the UK with specific plans to launch new asset finance and commercial property products that will provide significantly more lending opportunities for UK investors.”

Samir Desai, co-Founder and chief executive of Funding Circle said: “Financial services is going through the most significant disruption for a generation.

“The way businesses borrow is being transformed by eliminating the obstacles of an outdated banking system and putting owners directly in touch with investors looking to earn attractive returns.

“Today is a landmark step to achieving our vision of helping many millions of companies around the world access finance in a faster and easier way than through their bank.”

Since launching in the UK in 2010, Funding Circle report that they have generated more than $250 million of loans, helping to create an estimated 10,000 new jobs in the UK. The model has proven so successful that earlier this year the British Government injected $32 million (£20 million) to fund 20% of every business loan made via the marketplace.

In addition, the speed at which businesses can access finance is much quicker, typically taking seven days rather than 15-20 weeks with a bank.

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