£500 million lent

What a milestone! In just four and a half years, your lending has helped more than 7,000 businesses access half a billion pounds of finance via Funding Circle.

500-million

You are now lending approximately £35 million a month to creditworthy small businesses, making Funding Circle’s marketplace the fourth largest net lender to small businesses in the UK. Since launch, this has created an estimated 21,000 jobs.

Geoff Ridgeon and David Massey run the award winning restaurant, The Exhibition Rooms, based in Crystal Palace, London. Last year they borrowed £36,000 from 763 investors to open a second restaurant, Brighton Way, based in Streatham Hill.

Geoff Ridgeon, co-owner at ‘The Exhibition Rooms’, said: “At first we tried to approach the banks, but we were consistently told that lending to restaurants wasn’t a priority this year. We were recommended Funding Circle by a friend, and after checking it out, we decided to apply. It was stress-free and straightforward, but more than anything we found that people wanted to invest in us.”

Last week, we also announced a second referral partnership with RBS (following the one we announced last year with Santander). This will help to raise awareness within the small business community of other finance options now available to them, providing you with ever more lending opportunities on the marketplace.

We’ve just hit £500 million! Weekly Lending Review

Week 4: 19 – 25 January 2015

Today we were excited to pass the milestone of £500 million lent to small businesses across the UK. Onwards and upwards to £1 billion!

500-million

There are currently more than 100 new lending opportunities available to you, so place your bids before it’s too late! Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Property and construction remained the most popular sector for the second week running and the most common reason for needing funding was to expand.

New loans available to you

There are currently 131 loan requests on the marketplace which are all available for you to lend to.

The total value of new Funding Circle loans was £11,381,300 averaging at £57,192 per loan. The largest loan value was £320,000 and the smallest loan value was £7,000.

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: 19-Jan represents the week of 19th-25th January 2015.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

yield

Number of listed loans per week

number

Listed loan value per week

value

£500 million lent

Today we celebrated passing the £500 million lent milestone to businesses across the UK. Thanks to everyone for your support over the years, and here’s to the next £500 million!

Loans defaulted last week

French bakery. Loan 2520

This Middlesex business has been trading since 2010 and is in arrears with their repayments. All affected investors have been notified.

Tile retailer. Loan 2520

This Plymouth business has been trading since 2010 and wishes to propose a Company Voluntary Arrangement. All affected investors have been notified.

Foreign exchange. Loan 1586

This Sussex business has been trading since 1995 and is in arrears with their repayments. All affected investors have been notified.

Social housing builder. Loan 4907

This Newport business has been trading since 2006 and has entered into administration. All affected 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

A £515k loan and December’s industry news. Weekly Lending Review

Week 3: 16 – 19 January 2015

There are more than 60 new lending opportunities available to you on the marketplace right now, so place your bids before it’s too late! Last week, the majority of businesses looking for funding were in the property and construction sector and the most popular reason for needing funding was to expand. Remember, by lending to businesses your ital is at risk.

We also have a £515,000 loan on the marketplace for a company who develops and manufactures industry leading software and hardware for the broadcast and film industry.

New loans

There are currently 64 loan requests on the marketplace which are all available for you to lend to.

The total value of new Funding Circle loans was £7,191,900 averaging at £63,645 per loan. The largest loan value was £515,000 and the smallest loan value was £7,000.

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: 12-Jan represents the week of 12th-19th January 2015.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

yield

Number of listed loans per week

number

Listed loan value per week

value

Highlights from December’s industry news

In this month’s peer-to-peer lending news roundup we have a new tax relief for your lending, predictions of 2015 being a big year for your money and a new investor at Funding Circle.

 

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

Chancellor introduces new tax relief for investors. December industry news

Newspapers - Copy

Is alternative finance the answer to SME lending?

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, co-founder James Meekings went on CNBC to discuss why traditional small business lending is still shrinking, and what other options are now available to small business owners. Online marketplaces are one such option, linking supply and demand directly. Funding Circle is now the 4th largest net lender to small businesses in the UK.

Autumn Statement 2014: P2P lenders welcome tax relief boost

The Autumn Statement itself included some great news for individual investors. The Chancellor outlined tax and regulation changes which we have been campaigning for since we launched in 2010. From April, you will be able to offset any losses – or bad debt – against your net return. You can read more about what this means here. The news was also covered in the Times and Guardian.

Funding Circle strikes deal in US

Last month we also announced that for the first time, a global investor will be investing in small business loans through the Funding Circle UK marketplace. A private fund, managed by New York-based KLS Diversified Asset Management, will be investing £132 million in loans to UK small businesses. The KLS-managed fund will invest in whole loans across all risk bands and will not compete with any individual investors lending on partial loans. It’s a significant step on the journey to creating a stable and sustainable global marketplace, where creditworthy businesses borrow directly from a diverse range of investors – you can read more here.

Why investors are bullish on Lending Club IPO

In a landmark moment for the industry, Lending Club, an online marketplace in the US which focuses on personal loans, became the first to publicly list on the New York Stock Exchange. Our US Managing Director went on Bloomberg to discuss the potential of the marketplace model. CEO Samir Desai also discussed the news on CNBC, and you can read more in the Times and City AM.

Banks are taking a risk by treating peer-to-peer lenders lightly

The Financial Times warns banks are at risk of treating the industry too lightly. The piece compares the disruption marketplace lending is causing, to Uber’s rapid expansion across the globe. Whereas taxi drivers have rushed out their own online apps and mounted the legal barricades to stop Uber even pulling up in their neighbourhoods, the way mainstream banks have responded to peer-to-peer lending  is much more laid back.

A year of change for your money

In an end of year roundup piece, the FT predicts that 2015 will be a big year for the industry following a successful 2014.

News

How To Brand A New Product Or Service To Win The Right Business

When you’re preparing to launch a new product it’s natural to think about new branding to reflect your investment in development and aspirations for success.

The key is to develop branding that will give you the sales you want.

The right product branding can help you punch above your weight when entering new market segments. However, there are several considerations to take into account when branding new products or services.

Product branding strategy – Questions to ask yourself

 

1. What brand equity do you have in your existing product branding?

If your current product or service ranges enjoy substantial brand equity, you potentially risk losing positive association and recognition if you deviate too far from them.

Think carefully about your target customers, looking at cross- and up-sell opportunities related to your existing range. If there are strong links with other products or services you offer, radically different branding risks cannibalising your customer base and negatively impacting sales across your portfolio.

2. How competitive is your market?

You need to balance your existing brand equity against the level of saturation and competition in the market segment you’re entering.

In a competitive market, the right branding can deliver the cut-through you need to win business. It helps you position your product or service as a new breed, delivering a more appealing proposition to your customers.

Product branding execution – Practical considerations

Once you’ve considered strategic elements around existing equity and market competition, there are several practical elements to consider.

1. Start by being clear on your brand promise

A brand is not just a logo. The logo is just a visual cue that supports the wider brand, which encompasses the promise you make to your customers about the experience you offer.

To give you a basic example, easyJet, with its typeface and orange and white colour palette, offers a promise of cheap flights. Sir Stelios has expanded into other markets, such as gyms, property rental and hotels. All use the same design scheme. Because of the equity around the easyJet brand, you know at a glance that easyHotel and easyGym offer that same low-cost, no-frills promise. If easyGroup companies stop being cheaper, all the orange in the world isn’t going to help them retain and acquire customers.

You therefore need to start with clear idea of what promise your product or service is making, and then develop the design and marketing materials to communicate that idea.

2. Emphasise benefits over features

People don’t buy what your product does, they buy how it helps them. How do you save money? How do you make their lives easier?

For example, a new software solution might use an innovative, proprietary code to aggregate data from multiple sources. That’s the feature. The benefit is that the user can see exactly what’s going on in his business at a glance. At a basic level, the software saves time while facilitating growth.

Your brand promise therefore needs to go beyond specific product features to cut to the heart of why people should care about it.

3. Select a design you can use across multiple platforms

Between marketing collateral, point-of-sale materials, exhibition stands, website, advertising, media articles and email templates you will have to use the brand design in many different contexts.

Make sure the design you choose will work well (and cost-effectively) in all these different media.

For example, an icon of a water droplet can look brilliant in print. You can divide elements of the image so some are gloss varnished, meaning the droplet will have a nice sheen on brochures and business cards. However, translate that image to a website and it will look bland and flat. The print cost associated with that gloss varnish will also be higher than basic print, which may be impractical for general materials like product sheets.

4. Create a trademark where possible

Your product brand will have value in terms of intellectual property. Getting the legal protection of a trademark will help protect that value, and the market position you’re cultivating.

Are there other branding considerations that you’ve found to be crucial for your business based on past experience launching new products or services?

By Simon Jolly, Cognition Agency

You read more marketing tips 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.

 

Meet the co-founders. Weekly Lending Review

Week 2: 5 – 11 January 2015

The marketplace is already filling up with over 50 new lending opportunities available to you right now. Of the new businesses that came to the Funding Circle marketplace last week, the majority were in the property and construction sector. The highest proportion of prospective borrowers were located in the Midlands.

New loans

There are currently 51 auctions on the marketplace which are all available for you to lend to.

The total value of the new listed loans was £8,579,720 averaging at £63,553 per loan. The largest loan value was £337,000 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: 5-Jan represents the week of 5th – 11th January 2015.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

yield

Number of listed loans per week

number

Listed loan value per week

value

No update to minimum bid rates for February

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 are keeping minimum bid rates for February at their current levels:

A+: 6%

A: 8%

B: 9%

C: 10.2%

C-: 12.2%

Meet the co-founders

In the final instalment of our November investor evening round up, and following on from the property focus video, we hear from co-founders Samir Desai and James Meekings.

 

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

Investor evening part 3: co-founder Q&A

In the final instalment of our November investor evening round up, and following on from the property focus video, we hear from co-founders Samir Desai and James Meekings.

Watch the video below to hear them answer questions about plans for the business including our biggest challenges for the next twelve months and why we think Funding Circle is a great place to invest your money.

They also discuss the importance of transparency and why we think diversification is the best type of investment strategy.

Watch the short video:

New year, new lending opportunities. Weekly Lending Review

Week 1: 29 December 2014 – 4 January 2015

Happy New Year! Thanks to your lending, we had another record breaking quarter at the end of last year. You helped to lend £98.5 million in just three months to businesses up and down the country. As 2015 kicks off, you’ll be pleased to know that the pipeline is looking healthy so keep your eye on the marketplace over the coming days and weeks for more loans listed.

Of the new businesses that came to the Funding Circle marketplace last week, the majority were looking for capital to expand or grow, or for working capital. The highest proportion of borrowers were located in the South East and South West of England.

New loans

There are currently 23 auctions on the marketplace which are all available for you to lend to.

The total value of the new listed loans was £3,074,820 averaging at £50,406 per loan. The largest loan value was £156,260 and the smallest loan value was £7,500.

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: 29-Dec represents the week of 29th December 2014 – 4th January 2015.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

Yield

Number of listed loans per week

Number

Listed loan value per week

Value

Digging into the data

Funding Circle launched in 2010, in a post-recession era, and one question we’re frequently asked is what would happen to the loanbook and investor returns, if we encountered further adverse economic conditions in the UK. That’s a good question, and one we took a detailed look at in the third instalment of our data blog series, following a recent stress test we carried out.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team