Updates to the T&Cs. Weekly Lending Review

Week 39: 22 – 28 September 2014

Close to £8.5 million of business loans were listed on the marketplace last week, including four loans to be used for property developments. The South-East was the most popular location for businesses, with the majority looking for capital to expand.

New loans

There were 123 new business loans listed last week and there are currently 59 auctions on the marketplace.

The total value of the new listed loans was £8,496,220 that’s an average of £69,075 per loan. The largest loan value was £499,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans still available for bidding on for the next 3 days or more:

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The average gross yield graph is reported weekly and shows a rolling two week average of gross yields. This calculation assumes you reinvest your interest each month and therefore includes the compound interest you earn. Number of loans and value of loans are reported weekly. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 22-Sep represents the week of 22nd – 28th September.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

yield

Number of listed loans per week

number

Listed loan value per week

value

News you should know

A small change to our T&Cs

We’ve added a new clause into our investor T&Cs to clarify how we hold money on your behalf, to confirm that we will provide annual statements in respect of money held for you and that no interest is paid on balances held.  We’re not changing any of our practices, but regulation now requires us to provide this information.

We won 3 awards!

We’re really pleased to have been named winners of 3 awards over the past week:

We are AltFi’s “P2P Business Platform of the Year,” we also won their award for “Best Clarity of Data for Investors”, and we were awarded the London Loves Excellence award in financial services.

No loans were defaulted last week

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

 

Watch how a business you lent to grew in just 4 years. Weekly Lending Review

Week 38: 15 – 21 September 2014

£5.2 million was lent to businesses last week and there are currently 57 new businesses on the marketplace, available for you to lend to.

Last week, 25 loans were listed for over £100k and there are currently five property developments loans in Kent and London on the marketplace.

New loans

There were 110 new business loans listed last week and there are currently 57 auctions on the marketplace.

The total value of the new listed loans was £6,878,880; that’s an average of £62,535 per loan. The largest loan value was £300,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans still available for bidding on for the next 3 days or more:

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The average gross yield graph is reported weekly and shows a rolling two week average of gross yields. This calculation assumes you reinvest your interest each month and therefore includes the compound interest you earn. Number of loans and value of loans are reported weekly. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 15-Sep represents the week of 15th – 21st September.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

Yield

Number of listed loans per week

Number

Listed loan value per week

Value

News you should know about

MooFree, a manufacturer of dairy free chocolate and a Funding Circle borrower, is now exporting worldwide thanks to your lending. Watch our latest video case study.

Loans defaulted last week

Painting & decorating firm. Loan ID 4039

This Scottish business has been trading for eight years and has been placed into insolvent voluntary liquidation. Since then, they have fallen behind with their repayments. The original loan amount was £40,000 and all 835 investors have been notified.

Building contractor. Loan ID 2073

This South West business has been trading for nineteen years, and we have been advised that the company is due to be placed into insolvency liquidation. They have fallen behind with their repayments by a month. The original loan amount was £60,000 and all 846 investors have been notified.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

Moo Free Chocolates is exporting worldwide

Moo Free launched at the end of 2010 and was founded by husband and wife team, Mike and Andrea Jessop. Moo Free manufactures dairy-free chocolate from their base in Reading, and in the 4 years they’ve been running, they’ve won multiple awards and now export their products internationally.

Mike and Andrea were unable to find any chocolate which was suitable for them: nothing on the market was dairy or gluten free. After witnessing this gap in the market first-hand, they embarked on a 2 year journey to make a chocolate product, that tasted like real milk chocolate, but with no dairy or gluten.

In this short video you’ll hear Mike and Andrea’s inspirational story, of how they built their business from scratch to being a global dairy-free chocolate manufacturer .

Mike: “The difference people make [by lending to us] is massive.”

Moo Free borrowed £85,000 from 844 people in 2013. To find out more about applying for a loan, please visit our business page.

 

6 Ways To Ensure Your Website Keeps Generating Leads

webleads

Keeping your pages fresh is key when it comes to attracting visitors. There’s no point investing your time in designing and developing the ‘perfect’ website, only to forget about it once all the hard work’s over and it’s gone live.

Unfortunately, for many companies, it’s a mistake that’s easily made as they turn their attention to focusing on other areas of their business. However, your website is something you can’t afford to ignore, and it needs to be maintained to ensure it’s as effective as possible in attracting and keeping customers.

Websites that are kept up to date, load quickly and feature engaging content have a better chance of being successful.

Here are six easy ways you can ensure your website stays relevant and engaging, and continues to resonate with your customers:

  1. Make sure it’s performing in line with concrete performance objectives –without clear strategic goals, you risk being unclear on how your website is helping you gain new customers and build deeper relationships with existing ones
  2. Know your target audience and view your site through their eyes – when you put yourself in your customers’ shoes, you’re more likely to reach them
  3. Avoid grammatical mistakes, dead links or performance errors – all are total turn offs and can compromise your credibility
  4. Content is king – regularly update your pages with fresh content, such as blogs, news items or videos, to get maximum return on your online investment
  5. Keep up with changes in design trends– increase the lifespan of your site by following the latest developments and incorporating them where you can. This may involve a redesign at some point
  6. Stay on top of the latest online formats – HTML format has changed dramatically over the last five years alone, from a very basic version to HTML5.0, which is fast becoming the new standard for building websites and applications

By Paul O’Hagan, Cognition Agency

You read more tips for your website by downloading any of Cognition’s free eguides.

Cognition is a full-service marketing agency and a Funding Circle borrower. It’s known for its commercial approach, linking marketing activity to revenue and growth.

If you’re interested in taking out a Funding Circle business loan, you can apply online at anytime.

Record amount lent businesses. Weekly Lending Review

Week 37: 8 – 14 September 2014

A record £6.7 million was lent to businesses last week and there are currently 63 new businesses on the marketplace, available for you to lend to.

The South East & the North West were the two most popular locations for businesses and the most common sector was manufacturing.

New loans

There were 114 new business loans listed last week and there are currently 63 auctions on the marketplace.

The total value of the new listed loans was £7,324,260; that’s an average of £64,248 per loan. The largest loan value was £499,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans still available for bidding on for the next 3 days or more:

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The average gross yield graph is reported weekly and shows a rolling two week average of gross yields. This calculation assumes you reinvest your interest each month and therefore includes the compound interest you earn. Number of loans and value of loans are reported weekly. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 8-Sep represents the week of 8th – 14th September.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

yield

Number of listed loans per week

number

Listed loan value per week

value

News you should know

No change to minimum bid rates for October

We review the minimum bid rates in the middle of every month to decide whether they should be changed or kept the same. This month, we have decided to keep minimum bid rates at their current levels:

A+: 6%

A: 8%

B: 9%

C: 10.2%

C-: 12.2%

Improvements to the borrower application process

Over the past month we’ve been reviewing our processes and will be making changes to the application requirements for businesses, which will lead to some changes on the loan description page. This will give more flexibility to our credit assessment team, and help bring you more businesses to lend to.

Loans defaulted last week

Training provider. Loan ID 1089

This Newcastle business has been trading since 1999, and has fallen behind with their repayments. The original loan amount was £20,600 and all 266 investors have been notified.

Training business. Loan ID 3848

This London-based training provider was incorporated in 2008 and has ceased training. The original loan amount was £80,000 and all 969 investors have been notified.

Consultancy service. Loan ID 3718

This Durham business was incorporated in 1994 and the business is now insolvent. The original loan amount was £100,000 and all 1,117 investors have been notified.

Accountancy firm. Loan ID 5802

This Bradford business was incorporated in 2012 and is in breach of our terms and conditions. The original loan amount was £60,000 and all 596 investors have been notified.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans.

 

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

Meet Steven Watson, a Funding Circle introducer from Anglo Scottish Asset Finance

Broker Ambic video

Anglo Scottish Asset Finance was established in 2006 and helps over 6,000 businesses and individuals find finance each year. We went to meet Steven Watson, Business Development Manager, who has been working with us since 2011, to hear why Funding Circle is his first port of call for business loans.

We all met up at Ambic’s workshop in County Durham a year on from when Stephen helped the business to borrow £100,000 through Funding Circle. The business owner, David Potter, said the money had made a real difference and business at Ambic is booming.

In this short film, you’ll hear why Steven continues to come back to Funding Circle. If you’d like to have a chat with our dedicated business development team about how we might be able to help your clients, then please give us a call on 020 3667 2208 or email us.

Watch the video:

Improvements to the borrower application process

At Funding Circle our aim is to provide more lending opportunities for investors by offering businesses a quick and simple way to apply for finance. As part of this commitment we have been reviewing our processes when a business applies to us, and will be making some changes to the information investors see on the loan description page. This will give our credit assessment team greater flexibility to deal with a business’s application on a case-by-case basis.

Management accounts

Previously we have required businesses that do not already have management accounts prepared, to produce them before applying for a Funding Circle loan. This can be a lengthy and expensive process for borrowers, particularly non-limited businesses, who often incur significant costs from their accountants as part of the process.

In order to support more businesses, we are amending this requirement. We will now require businesses to provide us with recent bank statements (typically three months) with every application. Due to data security these cannot be published publicly.

We will still continue to collect financials for the last two fully completed financial years for the business based on their published year end dates (filed or management). Most businesses have a year end of December of each year, so in these cases we would show the last 2 years of full performance from January to December.

In certain cases we may collect YTD management accounts, for instance where there has been a long time since the end of the last financial year and where we do this we will display more recent financial information to investors.

Bank statements provide a more reliable indicator of cashflow and a more recent overview of a business’s financials than management accounts. They also provide detailed information of actual live business activity, which cannot be replicated by management accounts. This introduction will allow our credit assessment team to deal with applications for businesses that do not typically prepare management accounts as a matter of course, generating more lending opportunities to creditworthy businesses.

Outstanding loans and credit

Additionally, we are making changes to how information regarding outstanding loans and credit is collected and displayed. Over the next few weeks we will start to require borrowers to provide the total amount of further debt taken out in the last 12 months over £25,000, rather than broken down by specific types of finance. We are making this change to help streamline the application process and avoid duplication.

Information regarding further debt will be communicated to investors in the loan description page. By collecting the total amount of further debt taken out in the last 12 months over £25,000, investors will be able to see any significant changes in liabilities since the last set of full accounts were filed.

As well as enabling more businesses on to the marketplace by providing a smoother and quicker application experience, introducing these changes gives our credit assessment team greater flexibility when dealing with business applications, and ensures we remain competitive in the market. It’s important to note that we will always assess a business’ ability to repay a loan, and only list those that pass our credit assessment.

You will notice some changes to how this information is displayed in coming weeks. If you have any questions about the kind of information you will be able to see going forward, then please get in touch or join the conversation on the forum.

The Funding Circle team

You’re breaking records. Weekly Lending Review

Week 36: 1 – 7 September 2014

It was another busy week at Funding Circle as we welcomed 100 businesses to the marketplace, most of which were allocated to the A risk band. It was also a record week for lending as £6.5 million made its way to businesses across the UK, thanks to you.

The North East & West had the most businesses listed and the most common reason for needing a loan was expansion.

New loans

There were 100 new business loans listed last week and there are currently 48 auctions on the marketplace.

The total value of the new listed loans was £7,289,940; that’s an average of £72,899 per loan. The largest loan value was £499,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans still available for bidding on for the next 3 days or more:

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The average gross yield graph is reported weekly and shows a rolling two week average of gross yields. This calculation assumes you reinvest your interest each month and therefore includes the compound interest you earn. Number of loans and value of loans are reported weekly. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 1-Sep represents the week of 1st – 7th September.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

yield

Number of listed loans per week

number

Listed loan value per week

value

News you should know

Vote for us in the People’s Choice Awards!

We’re up for nomination for AltFis’ People’s Choice Award. We would really appreciate your vote, so if you have a minute, vote for us here.

Loans defaulted last week

Law firm. Loan ID 4338

This Solihull law firm has been trading since 2010, and has fallen behind with their repayments. The original loan amount was £100,000 and all 1,203 investors have been notified.

Plastering contractor. Loan ID 5955

This Wigan business was incorporated in 2002 and we have received notice of a change in business circumstances. The original loan amount was £15,000 and all 193 investors have been notified.

Construction company. Loan ID 4311

This Bristol business has been trading for over 10 years and we have received notice of a meeting of creditors. The original loan amount was £70,000 and all 864 investors have been notified.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans.

 

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

August’s industry news. Weekly Lending Review

Week 35: 25 –  31 August 2014

Despite the short week, it was a great week for lending as £5.9 million made its way to businesses across the country, thanks to your lending.

We also saw 97 businesses come to the marketplace; resulting in £6 million of new lending opportunities. The majority of loans were allocated to the A risk band, and the most popular business region was the South East.

New loans

There were 97 new business loans listed last week and there are currently 64 auctions on the marketplace.

The total value of the new listed loans was £6,022,920; that’s an average of £62,092 per loan. The largest loan value was £206,200 and the smallest loan value was £8,340.

Business loans still available for bidding on for the next 3 days or more:

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The average gross yield graph is reported weekly and shows a rolling two week average of gross yields. This calculation assumes you reinvest your interest each month and therefore includes the compound interest you earn. Number of loans and value of loans are reported weekly. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 25-Aug represents the week of 25th – 31st August.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

yield

Number of listed loans per week

number

Listed loan value per week

value

News you should know

We met Kevin, a Funding Circle investor, and Mike, a business owner

Last week we mentioned that we’d be inviting investors to meet some businesses they’ve lent to. The first trip was to Moo Free, a dairy-free chocolate manufacturer in Reading. We met Kevin, who’s been lending to businesses for 18 months, and Mike, who took out a business loan last year. Watch out for the video to come shortly!

Highlights from August’s P2P news, including the world’s largest P2P lender

In this month’s roundup we have reports of bank lending to businesses falling and news of Lending Club, the world’s largest P2P lender, announcing plans to file for IPO.

No loans were defaulted last week

 

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

A 21st century alternative to banks. August industry news

Newspapers - Copy

Bank lending to businesses continues to fall, but P2P is flying

According to the Bank of England, net lending to large companies by Government’s Funding for Lending scheme fell by £3.5 billion in the second quarter of this year, widening from a £2.7 billion drop in the first quarter. Lending to small businesses fell by £400 million. By contrast, one scheme that has proven to be successful so far is the British Business Bank, as highlighted by Funding Circle co-founder, James Meekings in the Guardian, Reuters and The Times.

Man at the Bank of Vince would like to say ‘yes’ with his £4bn pot

Continuing the theme of Government support for small businesses, Keith Morgan, CEO of the British Business Bank, was interviewed by the Sunday Telegraph. As part of the piece, Mr Morgan talked about the work the British Business Bank is doing to support new, innovative providers and how they are lending money directly to businesses through marketplaces, like Funding Circle, Zopa and RateSetter. 30,000 British businesses have already benefited as part of the wider programme of helping businesses access finance, including 2,300 businesses as a direct result of its investment through Funding Circle.

A 21st Century alternative to banks

Funding Circle CEO, Samir Desai was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to talk about the trends in alternative lending. In a CityAM feature about London’s growing fintech sector, Funding Circle was also named out as a UK success story that has recently spearheaded into the US market.

Lending Club files for IPO

As August drew to a close, Lending Club, the largest consumer peer-to-peer lending marketplace in the world, announced plans to file for IPO. The business is expected to raise approximately $500 million. One US commentator described it as “Wall Street royalty meets Internet royalty“. As one of the most anticipated IPOs of the year, it will be exciting to see how things progress over the next few months.

Funding Circle Buys LeapPay

Also during August, we announced that we had purchased LeapPay – a small US technology company. This acquisition will to help provide even faster decisions for American businesses looking to access finance.

Next generation finance: How London can cement its leadership in fintech

Writing in City Am, Rhydian Lewis, CEO of RateSetter, championed London as the home of the fintech industry – combining the best of the financial world of New York and the technology of Silicon Valley. Mr. Lewis cautioned against the UK resting on its laurels and called for more to be done to strengthen our position in this important growth industry. Also in City Am, Alex Letts, chief executive of digital current account provider Ffrees, discussed how fintech is forcing UK banks to redefine their strategies. He emphasised the need for traditional providers to partner with new, innovative companies like Funding Circle and Transfer Wise, or avoid being left behind.

5 Small Changes That Will Make A Big Difference To Your Social Media

When used strategically, social media is a way to connect directly with your customers and generate leads. However, just being on LinkedIn or Twitter isn’t enough to deliver commercial results.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the time you invest in your social media that matters. Yes, a time commitment is required. But ultimately, it’s having a smart strategy that makes the real difference.

How do you improve your presence social media without spending lots more time online?

social media

Here are 5 simple changes that will make your social media strategy more effective:

1. Transform your tweets into testimonials

Do you have happy customers who’ve tweeted about their experience? Search for references to your company’s @username to find positive tweets, and then use these testimonials in your marketing.

2. Share more third party content

Social media should be a two-way conversation. It should ideally follow the 50/50 rule in which you spend 50% of your time talking about yourself and the other half, sharing other people’s content. This way, you start to create constructive relationships that result in more ‘shares’ and ‘retweets’ of your content, generating wider exposure.

3. Always drive traffic to your website

Ensure your social media activity increases the volume of traffic that your website receives. If you aren’t already doing so, make sure you regularly include links to point people back to your website.

4. Cater for common search terms

Before you embark on drafting a blog or Google+ post, make sure you know the phrases and words people are actually using to search for your services. Once you’ve identified these keywords incorporate them into your posts. Don’t forget that hashtags, tags and labels are also excellent ways to find and attract a wider audience – it’s good practice to use them where you can.

5. Add photos

As simple as it sounds, use pictures. Tweets using Pic.Twitter,com are 94% more likely to be retweeted, according to inbound marketing specialists, HubSpot. Plus, people like images (a staggering 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each day), so use them when you can to break up your content and make your messages more eye-catching.

 

By Lindsey Witcherley, Cognition Agency

You can get more tips on digital marketing by downloading Cognition’s free eguide,  Making The Most Of Online Channels To Generate Leads

Cognition is a full-service marketing agency and a Funding Circle borrower. It’s known for its commercial approach, linking marketing activity to revenue and growth.

If you’re interested in taking out a Funding Circle business loan, you can apply online at anytime.