I recently met with Stuart Lunn at Lending Crowd and enjoyed an insight into the world of web based peer to peer lending and how this alternative financing route really could improve the financing opportunities for many SMEs. It’s also proving to be an appealing investment opportunity for investors looking for a low cost fixed income return.
Lending Crowd is a new Edinburgh based business which is looking to secure the Scottish peer to peer lending market by (a) offering businesses better loan rates, and (b) offering investors returns, through an online service which brings businesses and lenders together. Stuart has assembled a great team of experienced professionals with backgrounds in technology, marketing and banking with a focus on quality and integrity.
Lending Crowd is looking for good companies in all sectors and can look at proposals on a case by case basis as required. However, established family businesses looking for an exit plan, due to a lack of succession options or otherwise, appear to be of particular interest at the moment. The minimum level of borrowing is £10k with fixed rates up to 5years.
Although the peer to peer lending industry is relatively new, the market is developing fast. The UK’s largest peer to business lender has lent over £400m to date and this is showing no signs of slowing.
As the market grows then the services offered by Lending Crowd will expand accordingly. It is expected that they will in time offer specific sector products (such as in renewables, MBOs and mezzanine finance). This could well be the future of business lending for SMEs so if you wish further information or an introduction to Lending Crowd then please feel free to contact me to discuss.