UK based peer to peer lending platform Lendable has raised approximately £2.5 million in a seed round. Lendable states their new platform, only launched at the beginning of 2014, can deposit funds in your bank account in “minutes” – once a quote is accepted. The company’s objective is to “make borrowing as swift and painless as possible”. Lendable goes beyond an individual credit score and states their platform will offer loans to those with “less than perfect credit histories” but will still charge less than banks.
Tech City news reports that three partners in Passion Capital have personally taken part in the seed round. The three are all well known VCs including Eileen Burbidge, Robert Digger and Stefan Glaenzer. Additional investors include Will Kirby, of MarketInvoice, and Adam Knight, of London-based bitcoin startup Coinfloor.
“The UK’s established P2P platforms for personal loans are all focused on creating a safe investment for retail savers. Therefore, they can only fund borrowers with the highest credit scores, and long, spotless credit histories. But 40 per cent of borrowers in the £200 billion a year UK consumer credit market are “near-prime” — their credit histories aren’t perfect, but close enough. At the same time, no platform in the UK creates better returns for institutional investors who are comfortable with credit risk.”
Peer to peer lending is regulated quite differently in the UK. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken a light touch approach to allowing new platforms to rise up and challenge traditional banks that are widely viewed as falling far short in providing access to capital. In the US P2P platforms must file cumbersome securities registrations creating a dramatic barrier to entry for new competitors. In the UK, while a much smaller market that the US, competition for P2P lenders has remained robust.