Business lending platform LendingCrowd has closed a £100m funding deal with Barclays Bank and a large global investment firm to support investments into small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in their recovery from Covid.
This comes just days after LendingCrowd was accredited to the recovery loan scheme (RLS), the government-backed loan scheme designed to help SMEs bounce back after the pandemic.
The £100m funding will be delivered via the RLS as well as through LendingCrowd’s existing term lending product.
It represents the largest single funding deal in the platform’s history.
“It is hard to imagine a more difficult business environment than the past 18 to 24 months, which has seen many small and medium-sized businesses severely limited in how much they can trade, and trying to operate under rapidly changing restrictions, through no fault of their own,” said Stuart Lunn (pictured, left), founder and chief executive of LendingCrowd.
“Many of these SMEs are good, solid businesses that desperately need some extra support. However, there remains a significant unmet demand for business lending, particularly in the £250,000 to £500,000 space. It is crucial for businesses, and for our wider economic recovery, that this demand is properly served.
“We have invested in our tech-enabled lending platform and, together with our funding partners, we will offer businesses automated checks, faster decisions and competitive rates for small business loans. This saves time and hassle for customers, accountants and intermediaries who support these SME borrowers.
“The next few years will require a real collective effort to get our economy back on track – at LendingCrowd, we are determined to play our part.”
LendingCrowd was accredited to deliver RLS funding on Monday 7 February and has already begun to deploy financing to SMEs under the scheme. It will provide RLS loans of between £25,001 and £500,000, with terms of up to 60 months and no early repayment fees.
The platform noted that the Barclays funding represents the biggest capital markets deal in LendingCrowd’s eight-year history, with operations expanding and headcount set to grow by a third.