On Tuesday, online lender Funding Circle announced it was appointed Bernardo Martinez as its new U.S. managing director. He succeeds co-founder Sam Hodges, who is now to become Chairman of Funding Circle U.S.
According to Funding Circle, Martinez joins the platform’s team from PayPal, where he served as head of U.S. small business lending. Prior to PayPal, he was Chief Product and Marketing officer at Banco Dominicano del Progreso where he led the bank’s transformation, including an exclusive operating agreement with American Express in the Dominican Republic, and spent six years at Bank of America overseeing a variety of functions within its small business banking business. Martinez reportedly has more than 20 years’ experience leading high-growth lending businesses within financial services, with a focus on serving small businesses.
The appointment notably follows record-breaking growth for Funding Circle in the U.S., with U.S. businesses now having accessed more than $1 billion in funding through the Funding Circle’s platform since 2014 and $500 million in 2017 alone. While speaking about Martinez’s appointment, Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle, stated:
“Bernardo’s deep experience and knowledge of small businesses in the U.S. makes him the perfect fit for one of our fastest growing markets. I am delighted he has joined the team to spearhead our next stage of growth. These are exciting times for Funding Circle in the U.S. Over the last five years, we have established ourselves as the largest small business loans platform, and we have ambitious plans for the future.”
Martinez also commented:
“I have been impressed by Funding Circle’s accomplishments for small businesses around the world. They are doing more than just building a category-leading financial technology company. They are building a better financial world by supporting small businesses to grow, in turn creating jobs and revitalizing our communities. I’m excited to work with Samir, Sam and the rest of the team to extend this impact as we head into the next chapter.”
“We have an exciting few years ahead of us here at Funding Circle, and I am thrilled Bernardo has joined to help guide our U.S. business through this next phase of growth. Access to finance for small businesses remains a major problem in the U.S., and I have never been more confident in our ability to fill this void, fueling the growth of America’s small businesses and delivering better returns for investors.”