JustUs, a new peer to peer lending platform focusing on the IF ISA space, is preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube to raise £1 million. According to the company, this is part of a larger “ambitious” funding round to raise a total £5.35 million. JustUs is part of eMoneyUnion, a peer-to-peer lending platform for personal loans, that previously raised over £400,000 two years ago. Founded by financial services entrepreneur Lee Birkett, JustUs is described as part of a “new future” for consumers seeking to disrupt the peer to peer lending space. JustUs is the “evolution” of peer-to-peer lending platform eMoneyUnion. Around £2 million has already been invested in the eMoneyUnion platform since inception.
The new business is said to be valued at £26 million. The hefty valuation is based off predictions JustUs will deliver a loan book of about £254m by year 4 of the business. JustUs points to the Beta testing of the site where it attracted £130 million of borrower applications from a marketing spend of £150,000. The additional funding will be used for “high-profile advertising campaign to drive public awareness and membership of the community.”
JustUs has compiled an interesting team of employees and supporters. JustUs states that advertising executive Sir John Hegarty, a founding partner of Saatchi & Saatchi, and tech investor Thomas Teichman, founder of Spark Ventures, are among the backers. Thomas Adalbert, who was previously a Global Principal in fintech at Google is an investor and will join JustUs as Chief Marketing Officer.
The JustUs is described as incorporating a robust underwriting process that ensures an appropriate risk rating is applied to the potential borrower and where necessary further security is sought from the borrower or an appropriate personal guarantor.
Birket commented on the JustUs platform and eminent funding round;
“JustUs is for everyone, it’s an exciting evolution for the sector, which I believe can only become more relevant as consumers see that despite the worst financial crisis in a generation, banks and bankers’ behaviour hasn’t really changed. I believe we are completely disrupting the status quo with a range of accessible products for borrowers from a comprehensive range of backgrounds and credit history. JustUs is democratic, by the people, for the people. Savers are uninspired by their humdrum returns. We can give them access to the higher returns by bringing them together with a broad mix of consumer, guarantors and secured loans.”
Adalbert envisions a “back to the roots” form of lending;
“Going back to the very beginning of the lending marketplace, people would come together and help others out by lending money to them. I think we lost our way and the whole banking fraternity just got too greedy. This, on the other hand is going back to the roots, allowing you to help out other people through lending money. The alternative finance sector is evolving and growing and that is why I have given up my job with Google to invest my time and my money in to JustUs.”
The Crowdcube offer is not yet live but JustUs is accepting emails now to
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