Funding Circle raises $133 million, achieves ‘unicorn’ valuation
(9 January 2017 – United Kingdom) Online lending platform Funding Circle has raised £82 million (A$133 million) in its latest funding round.
Existing investor, who also contributed to this round included Union Square Ventures, Baillie Gifford, Index Ventures, DST Global, Ribbit Capital, Rocket Internet, Sands Capital Ventures, and Temasek.
The firm launched in the UK in 2010, providing a peer-to-peer funding model, which connects small firms seeking capital with a range of potential investors including individuals, financial institutions, and government agencies. The company expanded in to the US in 2013, and mainland Europe in 2015 via the acquisition of competitor Zencap.
This capital-raising round builds on the London-based fintechs previous funding totalling around A$286 million, and values the company at over A$1 billion, giving a “unicorn” status.
“We’ve been impressed by the Funding Circle team since our early investment in the company,” explained Accel partner Harry Nelis.
“It has achieved significant growth across multiple international markets by delivering an appealing lending option to SMEs and attractive risk-adjusted returns to investors on the platform.”
“This investment makes Funding Circle the largest and best-capitalized SME lending platform in the world,” continued Nellis.
According to the startup, since its launch, it has facilitated A$4 billion in funding between more than 60,000 investors and 25,000 businesses around the world. Funding Circle says around 10 percent of investor money now comes directly from government sources, including the British Business Bank, which injected £40 million into the company earlier this month.
Funding Circle CEO and cofounder Samir Desai said: “Today’s news is the next step on our journey to create a category-defining company that helps thousands of small businesses access finance and create jobs.”
“Over the next 12 months, lending through the Funding Circle platform will create a further 50,000 new jobs, supporting economic growth in the UK, US, and continental Europe,” he said.