LendingCrowd raises £100m to support SME recovery

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LendingCrowd has agreed a £100million funding deal with Barclays Bank and an anonymous global investment firm to support UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they recover from the pandemic.

The Edinburgh-based SME lending platform has now started rolling out that money, offering Recovery Loan Scheme loans of up to £500,000 over three, four or five year terms.

The new funding agreement represents the largest capital markets transaction in LendingCrowd’s eight-year history, with operations expanding and staff numbers increasing by a third to handle loan origination.

Stuart Lunn, Founder and Managing Director of LendingCrowd, said: “It’s hard to imagine a tougher trading environment than the past 18-24 months, which has seen many small and medium-sized businesses severely restricted in the amount 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 are in desperate need of further support, but there is still significant unmet demand for business loans, particularly in the £250,000-500,000 space.

“We have invested in our technology-based lending platform and, together with our financial partners, we will provide businesses with automated checks, faster decisions and competitive rates for small business loans.”

Founded in 2014, LendingCrowd is a technology-enabled non-bank lender, which has facilitated around 950 loans totaling £87m, including over £15m lent in Scotland.

The company was one of the first fintech lenders to receive full authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority in 2016.

In May 2019, LendingCrowd announced an institutional finance deal with Scottish Investment Bank and Dutch bank NIBC to lend £18.75m to SMEs across the platform.

LendingCrowd is backed by Scottish Enterprise, Murray Capital and a number of investors from the Scottish financial and entrepreneurial scene.

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