Canaan Backs Online Lender Borro; GP Dan Ciporin Joins Board

Borro, which operates a secured asset lending site much like an online pawn broker, has raised $26 million in a funding round led by Canaan Partners and including Ribbit Capital. The company, which was launched in London four years ago and has operated out of New York since January, previously raised about $20 million in funding from European investors. As part of the funding, Canaan General Partner Dan Ciporin has joined the board. Ciporin tells peHUB that borro will use the latest funding to expand its U.K. and U.S. operations. He says the average loan value transaction on the site is $8,000 for such personal assets as jewelry, antiques, luxury cars, wines and more, but the largest to date was $1 million, secured against fine artwork.

PRESS RELEASE

borro Secures $26M in Funding to Fuel Global Growth

Led by Canaan Partners, funding round will enable borro, the world’s first online provider of personal asset loans, to continue rapid growth in the US and UK

New York, NY – October 11, 2012 – borro, the leading online personal asset lender, today announced it has raised $26 million in funding led by Canaan Partners.  Launched in the UK in 2008 and in the US in 2012, borro is rapidly disrupting the asset lending industry. The company offers fast and efficient personal loans up to $1 million secured against personal assets such as fine art, antiques, jewelry, luxury watches, prestige and classic cars, fine wine, and more.

Ribbit Capital, a venture capital firm founded by Meyer Malka to invest in unique individuals and brands that are on a mission to disrupt financial services globally, also invested in the round. Previous investors Augmentum Capital, Eden Ventures, and Rockridge participated. borro will use this latest investment to continue expansion in the US and UK, and to broaden its  product range.

“This investment comes at a pivotal time for borro,” said Paul Aitken, CEO and Founder of borro. “The new funding will allow us to accelerate growth in the US and UK as the leading online lending and liquidity marketplace for luxury personal assets. In Canaan Partners and Ribbit Capital, we welcome new US based investors with extensive hands-on experience helping grow and transform companies in the fin-tech and luxury markets.”

Canaan Partners, a global venture capital firm with over $3 billion under management, led the funding round. Canaan has deep experience in funding fin-tech companies and is a major investor in LendingClub, the leading online peer-to-peer lending exchange, as well as luxury e-commerce companies TheRealReal, Gemvara, OpenSky, and UK-based Onefinestay.

“We invested in borro because it’s a fast-growing company solving an enormous problem – trusted, immediate and convenient access to cash for consumers and business owners whose financial alternatives have been negatively impacted by the lending credit crunch,” said Dan Ciporin, General Partner at Canaan Partners and newly appointed member of borro’s Board of Directors. “Canaan’s background investing in new asset classes in fin-tech combined with our international experience helping startups from Europe, Israel, and India grow their business in the US will enable us to offer hands-on operational guidance to borro as it expands worldwide.”

borro has introduced and essentially defined a new category of online loans, Personal Asset Lending, and has achieved triple-digit revenue growth each year over the last three years. With an average loan value of $10,000, borro has made 15,000 personal asset loans to date.

Meyer Malka, Managing Director of Ribbit Capital, said: “The category in which borro is building its business has suffered from a profound lack of innovation. Ribbit is proud to work with companies that bring a trusted brand and a high quality, transparent experience to customers.”

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