In order to accelerate growth, the Irish P2P lending platform Linked Finance — Ireland’s first — has moved from a model where lenders “bid” the interest rate they would offer to a company seeking funds, to one where a fixed-rate is set at the beginning of the process, according to the Independent. Within the first two weeks of the new fixed rate loan offering, 21 SMEs borrowed €600,000 in funding through the platform already.
“The fixed rate loan launch has been a huge success, with both lenders and borrowers engaging enthusiastically with the new approach,” Linked Finance CEO Niall Dorrian told the Independent. “”Borrowers now have certainty on the interest rate they will pay and can raise money quicker than before. Lenders can also now be certain of participating in a loan when committing funds. With our ambitious plans to grow lending to over €350m by the end of 2019, we are now looking at the involvement of strategic partners on to the platform. Possible partnerships include international and domestic institutions lending to the platform, and government entities looking to drive the growth of Ireland’s SME sector.”
Linked Finance commented that the new approach reduced rate uncertainty for borrowers and quickened the funding process with the average loan closing in under 30 hours. Companies who apply to borrow loans are given a credit rating based on Linked Finance’s proprietary system which looks at a business’s credit history, stability and ability to repay, and then approves a loan at an interest rate appropriate to the company’s rating.
A €40,000 loan for Tipperary stove suppliers, Ryan Stoves, was fully funded in just under eight hours, noted RTE. Featured live loans include Keogh’s Cafe, Alchemy Event Management, Oriel Auto Specialists and Cuckoo Events.