LendingCrowd raises £100m to support SME growth and recovery
Edinburgh-based fintech LendingCrowd has closed a funding deal with Barclays, and a large global investment firm to support SMEs across Britain as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic and return to growth.
The funding will be delivered via the British Business Bank’s Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), for which LendingCrowd has now been accredited as a lender, and also through its popular term lending product.
The Recovery Loan Scheme is designed to support access to finance for UK businesses as they recover and grow following the pandemic. Funds from the scheme can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including managing cashflow, growth and investment. It is designed to appeal to businesses that can afford to take out additional finance for these purposes.
LendingCrowd has now started to deploy this funding to SMEs across Britain. The company will provide RLS loans up to £500,000 over a three, four or five-year term. The new funding agreement represents the biggest capital markets deal in LendingCrowd’s eight-year history, with operations expanding and headcount growing by a third to manage the provision of this funding to the SMEs that need it most.
Stuart Lunn, founder and CEO of LendingCrowd, said: “It is hard to imagine a more difficult business environment than the past 18 to 24 months, which has seen many small and medium-sized businesses severely limited in how much they can trade, and trying to operate under rapidly changing restrictions, through no fault of their own.
“Many of these SMEs are good, solid businesses that desperately need some extra support. However, there remains a significant unmet demand for business lending, particularly in the £250,000 to £500,000 space. It is crucial for businesses, and for our wider economic recovery, that this demand is properly served.
“We have invested in our tech-enabled lending platform and, together with our funding partners, we will offer businesses automated checks, faster decisions and competitive rates for small business loans. This saves time and hassle for customers, accountants and intermediaries who support these SME borrowers.
“The next few years will require a real collective effort to get our economy back on track – at LendingCrowd, we are determined to play our part.”