U.S. firm invests $228 million in British peer-to-peer loans-Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. asset management firm Victory Park Capital said it would invest up to 150 million pounds ($228 million) in loans arranged by British peer-to-peer lending platform Assetz Capital under a five year contract.

Peer-to-peer lending has grown rapidly since the financial crisis as bank credit for small and medium-sized companies has remained scarce.

Victory Park, which focuses on middle market debt and equity investments, said the funding would support small businesses in Britain.

“It is a great time to partner with Assetz Capital as the company continues to scale in an undeserved market,” said Gordon Watson, principal at Victory Park.

More than 55 million pounds of loans have been lent through the Assetz Capital platform since it launched in 2013.

As a whole, the market for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in Britain last year totaled 1.7 billion pounds, of which 749 million pounds was business lending, according to a study by the University of Cambridge and charity NESTA.

P2P business lending grew by 250 percent between 2012 and 2014, the report also noted.