Funding Circle, an online marketplace for business loans has secured a $37 million series C investment led by Accel Partners. New investor Ribbit Capital joins New York-based Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures in the round. In total Funding Circle has raised $58 million in equity funding.
Funding Circle, the pioneering online marketplace for business loans, today announces a groundbreaking deal to help millions of businesses across America sidestep the broken banking system and borrow directly from investors.
The business is joining forces with San Francisco-based business lender Endurance Lending Network The deal brings together an established home-grown team with a strong track record in the US, and combines local knowledge with proven experience and game-changing technology.
Accel Partners is fuelling this growth by leading a $37 million series C investment. New investor Ribbit Capital joins early backers New York-based Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures. In total Funding Circle has now raised $58 million in equity funding.
The investment will be used to support the growth of the business in the UK with specific plans to launch new asset finance and commercial property products that will provide significantly more lending opportunities for UK investors. The money will also assist Funding Circle’s US operations, headquartered in San Francisco.
Funding Circle is helping to spark a global revolution in the way small businesses access finance. By bringing together industry leading risk management policies and cutting edge technology, Funding Circle’s proven model strips out the need for inefficient bank processes, enabling businesses to access finance in a matter of days directly from investors.
“Financial services is going through the most significant disruption for a generation” said Samir Desai, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Funding Circle. “The way businesses borrow is being transformed by eliminating the obstacles of an outdated banking system and putting owners directly in touch with investors looking to earn attractive returns.”
“Today is a landmark step to achieving our vision of helping many millions of companies around the world access finance in a faster and easier way than through their bank.”
According to the Small Business Administration there is a $100 billion funding shortfall in the US economy with small businesses, the lifeblood of the country, lacking access to the finance they need to create jobs and accelerate economic growth.
Co-founders of Endurance Lending Network, Sam Hodges and Alex Tonelli, will lead Funding Circle’s US operations.
“Like Funding Circle, Endurance Lending Network was created to help the millions of small businesses being starved of the money they need to grow,” said Alex Tonelli, co-founder of Funding Circle USA. “As small business owners ourselves, we know how acute the need is for a viable alternative to bank loans. Joining forces with Funding Circle will allow us to further deliver on this vision.”
Sam Hodges commented: “We are delighted to have found a like-minded partner that is committed to helping more great American businesses thrive. Companies need access to money when it’s needed, not months of waiting and stagnation. Together we will continue to build the world’s leading marketplace for business loans.”
The lending revolution
Since launching in the UK in 2010, Funding Circle has generated more than $250 million of loans, creating an estimated 10,000 new jobs in the UK alone. The model has proven so successful that earlier this year the British Government injected $32 million (£20 million) to fund 20% of every business loan made via the marketplace.
Harry Nelis, Partner at Accel Partners will be joining the board of Funding Circle. Nelis says, “In Funding Circle, we see the potential to build the category-defining company in online business lending. We very much look forward to working with Funding Circle to make the company a great success as they continue their expansion.”
Through Funding Circle, businesses typically access the capital they need in 7 days compared to 15-20 weeks with a bank. Independent research has found that three in four businesses would come to Funding Circle first in future, ahead of a bank.
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Notes to Editors:
Funding Circle (www.fundingcircle.com) is the world’s leading online marketplace for business loans, enabling investors to directly lend to small businesses. Businesses borrow between £5,000 and £1 million, while investors receive an average net return of 5.8% on their money
Since launching in August 2010 Funding Circle has helped businesses borrow more than £160 million. Investors include thousands of individuals, the British Government, local councils and Huddersfield University.
Endurance Lending Network was founded in 2011 to address a lack of lending to small businesses in the U.S. and demand from investors to diversify fixed income portfolios and increase returns. Since that time it has grown to become the leading marketplace for small businesses loans in the US.
The company was established by entrepreneurs Sam Hodges and Alex Tonelli, after Alex was rejected by traditional lenders for a $75K loan to grow his successful fitness center business. The two began working on this problem shortly after graduating from Stanford Business School, where they were classmates.
The business joined forces with Funding Circle in October 2013. It now operates under the name Funding Circle.
Accel Partners: Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, London, New York City and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel. Accel has invested in over 500 companies, many of which have defined their categories, including Angry Birds (Rovio), Atlassian, Cloudera, ComScore, Dropbox, Facebook, Groupon, Kayak, Playfish, QlikTech, Spotify, Supercell and Wonga. For more information, visit the Accel Partners web site at www.accel.com find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/accel.
Index Ventures: Index Ventures is a leading venture capital firm investing in technology and life science companies. From offices in Geneva, London and San Francisco, Index is dedicated to discovering and supporting the best entrepreneurial teams wherever they are looking to build market-defining, global businesses. Since its inception in 1996, Index Ventures has backed visionary entrepreneurs who have taken on incumbents and built seminal companies including MySQL, Virata, Skype, Last.fm and Betfair. Its portfolio currently consists of more than 150 innovative companies based in 20 countries and 39 cities including Dropbox, Etsy, Funding Circle, King, Supercell, Criteo, Nasty Gal and Soundcloud.