Your October Review – Insight and Analysis

Your October Review
Last month Funding Circle investors, like you, lent over £100 million to UK businesses to help them grow and develop. Dive in below for your monthly analysis.

We’re excited to be shortlisted for the Moneyfacts Consumer Awards. If you’ve received great service from Tom, Sophie, Fran or any of the Funding Circle team, please vote for us.

September lending figures
Last month, you and other investors helped businesses to take new opportunities, create new jobs and drive energy into the UK economy — thank you for your continued support!

October stats

September industry news

Thanks to investors, last year over £1 billion was lent to 10,000 businesses through Funding Circle, helping to create 25,000 new jobs. CEO and co-founder Samir Desai discusses our growth and future plans. Read about this and much more in last month’s Industry news.

Monthly trends
These graphs show the most recent activity on our platform.

You’ve helped more than 8,300 small businesses access finance in the last 6 months…
October volume of loans

Totalling over £589 million lent

October value of loans

September 2017 sector breakdown

Amount lent to each sector

October sector

September 2017 regional breakdown

Amount lent to each UK region
October region

As part of lending to businesses, a small percentage will not be able to fully repay their loan. This is known as bad debt and is a normal part of business lending. We believe diversification, where you lend no more than 1% of your total to each business, is the best way to reduce the impact this has on your return. Our automatic lending tool will help you diversify by splitting your investment across lots of businesses. We recommend lending £2,000 or more, so you can lend to 100+ businesses, with no more than 1% going to each one.  

Each week, we publish a list of the loans being defaulted on the Customer support section of our website under ‘Announcements.’ To see a breakdown of the loans defaulted last week simply click on loans defaulted 28th September 2017.  For further information on why Funding Circle defaults loans you can read our FAQ here.

Collections and recoveries

How it works

You can also read more about how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Up next in October, we’ll be looking at the impact your lending is having on the UK economy and bringing to life some of the businesses you’ve helped access finance.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

*Data from CEBR report

This blog is a general summary, and should not replace financial advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Funding Circle is not authorised to, and does not, provide investment, tax, legal or regulatory advice. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional advisor or seek independent specialist advice.

September’s Lending Impact and Borrower Stories

SeptemberInvestorImpact
In this month’s post, find out how your lending has helped businesses across the UK achieve their goals. See borrower Jim in a BBC documentary next week, watch investor Jan meet up with a kitesurfing business she lent to, and read our ideas for an amazing Oktoberfest.

A great month for
Jim, Managing Director at Channel Group, who’ll feature on Saving Lives at Sea on Tuesday next week. The BBC documentary series follows the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the ordinary men and women who race to the rescue within minutes of a cry for help. We caught up with Jim last month to find out how Funding Circle investors, like you, have helped grow his outdoor activity business.

SeptemberSuccessStory
Watch our new video as Jan, a Funding Circle investor, heads to Worthing to meet Christine and have her first kite surfing lesson! Find out how your lending helped Christine pursue her dreams and set up The Kite, Surf & Sup Co.

Kitesurf Jan

Oktoberfest: raise a glass to these 4 glorious breweries!

Need some inspiration this Oktoberfest? Read about some great breweries which, thanks to the help of Funding Circle investors, were able to grow their business and continue offering a fantastic service for all of us to enjoy.

August’s Lending Impact and Borrower Stories

In case you missed it, here’s last month’s post, when we met husband and wife team Peter Robinson and Tracy Pound, and enjoyed the last of summer at Britain’s best beaches.

Up next

At the beginning of October, we’ll publish ‘Your October Review – Insight and Analysis’ including statistics from across the platform and helpful tips to make the most of your investment.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Read between the lines: pensions and retirement

Each month we will be bringing you a regular column from Simon Read, a personal finance expert with extensive experience in helping people make the most of their money. In his last piece, Simon looked at the impact of making small savings each month.

Do you know when you’re going to retire? It may seem a long way off, but if you don’t get your finances in order, it’ll be even further away. Why? Because if you don’t have a decent nest-egg to draw on, you won’t be heading for a happy retirement – just a struggling one.

And if you think you can rely on the state to support you when you give up working, think again. At present the state pension payout is just £159.55 a week. That works out at £8,296.60 a year.

Do you think you could survive on that when you retire? Some people have to, but you won’t if you save some extra cash to see you into a reasonably wealthy retirement.

Before I suggest some ways to do that, it’s also worth pointing out that the state retirement payout age is rising. What age do you think you will qualify, bearing in mind that the age is now the same for men and women?

Yes, it did use to be 65 for men and 60 for women but that’s changed. If you’re not due to retire before November next year the qualifying age will be 65 for both genders.

By October 2020 the age climbs to 66 and it rises again to 67 by 2028, that will hit anyone who is 56 or older already.

For younger folk the age is likely to climb again to 68 from 2037 – which means anyone born after 1969 will have to wait an extra year for the state pension. And there will be continual rises in the future which could mean your kids will have to wait until age 70 or older to qualify.

What that process underlines is that it’s up to you to ensure you have enough money in retirement to ensure a decent quality of living. How you do that is up to you. But don’t be put off by the word ‘pension’ – it’s simply a savings scheme with a specific purpose, to give you some cash when you get older and stop working.

You don’t have to save for retirement into a traditional pension scheme. Indeed if you want some flexibility about when you retire there’s an argument for saving elsewhere. In fact many people fed up with the returns from traditional pension managers prefer to invest their retirement cash themselves, whether that’s in stocks and shares, property, peer-to-peer or other type of opportunity.

Saying that, if you work for a company, it has to offer you a workplace pension and that is almost certainly worth using. That’s because many companies match your own contributions as well as there being tax relief on every pound you put in. So if you’re a 40% taxpayer, your pound is matched by your company and taking account of the tax benefit, every pound is immediately worth £2.40 to your pot.

But even though that sounds great, you should be planning other ways to build up your retirement pot. Think about it this way: how much do you want to live on when you give up work? Would £30,000 do?

Earlier this year, consultants at Hymans Robertson worked out how much you’d need to save a month to achieve that target. Because of the earnings you make from compound interest, the amount climbs dramatically the older you are when you start saving.

The actuaries reckoned a 25-year-old would need to save £342 a month, while a 35-year-old would need to stash away more than £500. If you’re 45 and haven’t started saving for retirement, your figure would be more than £1,000 a month.

Sobering, isn’t it? The simple truth is that the sooner you start planning for your retirement, the better life you’ll be able to have when you give up work.

Your pensions planning checklist:

1 – Pick the age you’d like to retire

2 – Plan how much you’d like to live on when you retire

3 – Work out how much you need to save per month

  • Check your state pension age, but remember this may change if you are still young
  • If you have a company pension, find out what their contribution is and how it is managed
  • Use a pensions calculator to see what savings you need to make
  • If you need a boost, look at your investment options, and how much interest you could earn

Other resources:

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not represent those of Funding Circle. Funding Circle is not authorised to, and does not, provide investment, tax, legal or regulatory advice.

The information and views contained here are provided solely for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal, tax, regulatory, accounting or investment advice, or as a recommendation or an offer or invitation by Funding Circle.

To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, such information contained here.

If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent specialist advice.

We’ve launched your new lending experience

Last month we announced plans to launch an improved and upgraded version of our existing Autobid and Autosell lending tools, and the decision to withdraw the option to manually choose which businesses to lend to and sell.

Today these changes have come into effect, and we’re pleased to launch our new lending experience to make lending through Funding Circle simpler, better and fairer for all investors.

Your new lending options

You can now lend using one of two new lending options:

The rates shown are the projected returns, after fees and bad debts (but before tax), that a diversified investor could earn with either lending option. These rates may change over time, and your actual return may be higher or lower. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Over the past four weeks, you will have received an email from us letting you know:

  • If you used Autobid – which lending option you have been transitioned to. You are now lending to businesses through your preferred option and do not need to do anything.
  • If you didn’t use Autobidhow to login to your account and select your preferred lending option. You will need to select a lending option if you would like to continue lending to businesses, although you will continue to receive repayments from your existing loan parts if you don’t select an option.

If you haven’t yet picked a lending option or would like to change which option you chose, you can do so easily by logging in now and navigating to your new Lending settings page. You can also pause your lending at anytime:

Changing your lending option will only affect any new lending on your account, and won’t affect any existing loan parts you own.

Updates to your investor account

When you next login you will also notice that we’ve made a few improvements to your investor account:

  • You can now manage your portfolio from your new Lending settings page – change your lending option, pause or resume your lending from here.
  • You can sell loan parts quickly and easilywe launched our new sell page on 21st August (including removing our sale fee), and from today the option to sell individual loans has been withdrawn. We expect liquidity to remain strong on the platform so you can access your money quickly, although this can’t be guaranteed.
  • The loan request and loan parts page have been withdrawn
  • We’ve updated some of the terms we useto reflect your new lending experience, bids are now called orders, and your Funding Circle total is now your Portfolio total.

Your new lending experience will make lending through Funding Circle simpler, better and fairer for everyone, and we hope you continue to enjoy lending through Funding Circle. If you have any questions about today’s changes, or you need any help with your account, please see our Q&A blog or get in touch.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

Your September Review – Insight and Analysis

Your September Review

On 18th September we’re launching an exciting new lending experience to make lending to businesses through Funding Circle simpler, better and fairer for all investors. Read about the two new lending options on our blog or dive in to your monthly analysis below.

Last month, you and other investors helped businesses to take new opportunities, create new jobs and drive energy into the UK economy — thank you for your continued support!

August industry news

Written up in Bloomberg, Funding Circle co-founder and CEO Samir Desai met borrower By the Horns brewery to find out how the EU referendum has affected their business. Read this and more in last month’s industry news.

Monthly trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on our platform.

You’ve helped more than 8,500 small businesses access finance in the last 6 months…

Number of loans September

Totalling over £605 million lent

Value of loans

August 2017 sector breakdown

Amount lent to each sector

August sector

August 2017 regional breakdown

Amount lent to each UK region

Region August

Loans defaulted last week

As part of lending to businesses, a small percentage will not be able to fully repay their loan. This is known as bad debt and is a normal part of business lending. We believe diversification, where you lend no more than 1% of your total to each business, is the best way to reduce the impact this has on your return. You can diversify automatically using our Autobid tool.

Each week, we publish a list of the loans being defaulted on the Customer support section of our website under ‘Announcements.’ To see a breakdown of the loans defaulted last week simply click on loans defaulted 31st September 2017.  For further information on why Funding Circle defaults loans you can read our FAQ here.

Collections and recoveries

How it works

You can also read more about how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Up next in September, we’ll be looking at the impact your lending is having on the UK economy and bringing to life some of the businesses you’ve helped access finance.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

*The current estimated return is a weighted estimate of the annual return after fees and bad debts that investors could earn from lending money to businesses seeking loans today. It is calculated by taking the gross interest rate less fees and estimated bad debts that will occur in the future for each of the last 3000 loans accepted on the marketplace. The average return is weighted by loan amount, compounded and before tax. The return is updated daily. See the full calculation here.

This blog is a general summary, and should not replace financial advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Funding Circle is not authorised to, and does not, provide investment, tax, legal or regulatory advice. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional advisor or seek independent specialist advice.

 

New lending experience – your questions answered

Last week we announced some improvements to how lending and selling through Funding Circle will work, with the aim of making lending simpler, better and fairer for all investors. 

Since then, we’ve been listening to your feedback and have put together answers to the most frequent questions you’ve been asking.

Your account from 18th September

If I don’t choose a lending option, can I still use my Funding Circle account from 18th September?

If you are an Autobid user, you will automatically continue to lend to businesses from 18th September and you do not need to select a lending option.

If you do not use Autobid you will need to select a lending option in order to continue lending to businesses from 18th September. If you do not select a lending option you can continue to login to your account, view your existing portfolio and withdraw your available funds, however you will no longer lend to any more businesses.

From 18th September, you will need to accept the new Terms and Conditions in order to continue using your Funding Circle account.

Will I be able to pause lending, or will it always be turned on?

You will be able to pause your lending at anytime. Your repayments will not be lent to more businesses until you turn lending back on.

What happens to my existing loan parts?

The changes we are making will only affect lending to businesses from 18th September, and will not affect any existing loan parts you own. You will continue to receive repayments from existing loan parts from 18th September, even if you do not choose a lending option.

How can I change my lending option?

  • Before 18th September: If you are not being transferred to a lending option (for example if you don’t currently use Autobid) you will be able to select an option the next time you log into your Funding Circle account. You can change your lending option by navigating to the Autobid page and following the link.
  • On and after 18th September: you will be able to change your lending option at anytime. Your choice of lending option will only affect any new lending, and will not change existing loan parts you own.

Selling loan parts

How will the secondary market work?

  • Before 18th September: On 21st August we launched a sell page that simplifies how investors buy and sell loan parts. You can sell your loan parts by going to the sell page and telling us how much you’d like to withdraw. We’ll list a selection of your loan parts for you approximate to that value. Once they’ve sold, the loan parts will appear as available funds which you can transfer to a nominated bank account. We have also removed the 0.25% fee to sell your loan parts. You will be able to sell individual loan parts and set a premium or discount up until 18th September.
  • On and after 18th September: Any remaining loan parts listed for sale at a premium or discount will be delisted and the option to sell loan parts individually will be withdrawn. All loan parts listed from 18th September will be sold at par value. All investors will buy existing loan parts sold by other investors, based on their lending preference.

Can I still buy or sell individual loan parts?

From 18th September you will no longer be able to buy individual loan parts from other investors, or sell individual loan parts to other investors.

Will I be able to sell loan parts that are larger than £100?

Yes. The new tool will only split your lending to a single business into smaller parts of £100 when lending to new businesses. You may still sell loan parts larger than £100 to other investors, providing they are no larger than 0.5% of the buyer’s portfolio.

Your new lending options

Will I be well-diversified by lending 0.5% of my portfolio to each business?

Since 2010, every investor who has lent no more than 1% of their portfolio to a single business for at least a year has made a positive return, with 92% earning at least 5% a year after fees and bad debt. This increases to 93% when an investor lends no more than 0.5% of their portfolio each time.

There are no guarantees with any form of investment, but lending 0.5% to each business will provide you with a very well-diversified portfolio. You can see this from the graph below, which shows the annualised return earned by 95% of investors lending for at least one year, by the number of businesses lent to.

Data is correct as of 1st July, and past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Will I be able to choose the loan term of the business I lend to?

Our aim is for you to build a well-diversified portfolio and have the best chance of earning a stable return by lending to a wide range of businesses. Over the past seven years we have built up a large database of historical loan performance and have found there to be no significant difference in how businesses perform by loan term. In addition, if you do want to access your money early you can sell your loan parts to other investors and there is no cost to do so.

Will I now be investing in a fund?

No. By lending through Funding Circle you always lend directly to your own individual portfolio of businesses and no investor account is the same. This will not change as you will continue to enter into loan contracts directly with each borrower you lend to, so you are only exposed to the performance of those borrowers. This is very different to a fund where your money would be pooled together with all other investors and the return investors receive depends on the overall performance of the fund.

Funding Circle ISA

When are you launching a Funding Circle ISA?

We will be launching the Funding Circle ISA this tax year. Given we expect the Funding Circle ISA to be popular, we plan to launch it at a time to suit demand from both investors and borrowers. This will allow us to manage liquidity on the platform and help investors to earn attractive, stable returns.

Can I transfer my existing loan parts into the Funding Circle ISA?

No. For regulatory reasons, you will not be able to transfer any existing loan parts you own into a Funding Circle ISA. You will need to withdraw funds to your nominated bank account, before transferring them into your Funding Circle ISA.

If you can’t see your question here, you can find more information about your new lending experience in our FAQ.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

August’s Lending Impact and Borrower Stories

August Investor Impact
In this month’s post, find out how your lending has helped businesses across the UK achieve their goals. First up, meet husband and wife team Peter Robinson and Tracy Pound who borrowed this month. Then we’re headed to the beautiful Exmoor National Park to meet adventure activities specialist the Channel Group and finally we’re enjoying the last of summer at Britain’s best beaches. Dive in below.

A great month for rebrand
Peter RobinsonThis month we had the pleasure of meeting Peter Robinson, who runs award-winning insurance broker business Prizm Solutions in Staffordshire. The business was formed in 2006 when Peter saw an opportunity to radically change the way insurance was transacted.

Today, they have countless recommendations of how they’ve helped clients with their insurance needs; from motor insurance, to liability insurance and employee benefits to name a few. Prizm has also been recognised by their peers, being shortlisted for Community Broker of the Year at the UK Broker Awards 2017.

During our conversation, Peter told us that his wife, Tracy Pound who runs IT training and consultancy specialist Maximity, has been shortlisted for Business Role Model of the Year in the Women in IT awards 2017. On behalf of the Funding Circle community we’d like to wish Peter and Tracy the best of luck in their upcoming awards!

You and other investors helped Prizm Solutions borrow over £150,000 this month to acquire another business and they’ll be increasing their team to 16 people.

August's success story
Jim Channel Training

Outdoor enthusiast goes for growth

The Channel Group was started in 2012, when Managing Director Jim Whittaker and his friend Darren quit their day jobs to found a business with a simple mission: to get more people out and about in the beautiful outdoors.

Five years on, Jim and his team now offer a diverse range of adventurous activities, outdoor education and personal development programmes on the edge of the beautiful Exmoor National Park. You and other investors helped the Channel Group keep up with high demand for their courses and progress with their growth plans.  In this short video meet Jim and hear his story.

Support local this August
Make the most of the final few weeks of summer and head to one of our Britain’s beautiful beaches. From stunning north-east Scotland to the Cornish coast, join our tour of six local businesses where you can go for a bite to eat, have a refreshing drink or stay the night in these top spots.

July’s Lending Impact and Borrower Stories

In case you missed it, here’s last month’s post, when we caught with our first ever borrower on the Isle of Alderney and met business owner Christine Johnson in Brighton to find out how investors, like you, have helped take her business to the next level.

Up next

At the beginning of September, we’ll be publishing ‘Your September Review – Insight and Analysis’ which will focus on the numbers and include some helpful tips to help you make the most of your investment.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

We’re launching an exciting new lending experience

Since we launched Funding Circle in 2010, our aim has been to enable investors to earn attractive, stable returns by lending directly to small businesses.

Recently, we have been reviewing how lending through Funding Circle works, with the aim of making lending simpler, better and fairer for all investors. After careful consideration, we have taken the decision to make some improvements to your lending experience.

On 18th September, we will launch a significantly improved and upgraded version of our existing Autobid and Autosell lending tools, and the option to manually choose which businesses to lend to and which loan parts to sell will be withdrawn.

How will the new lending experience work?

Investors will be able to choose one of two new lending options based on their personal preference. Both options will be available as a Funding Circle ISA, which we intend to launch later this tax year.

  • Balanced: you will automatically lend to the full range of creditworthy businesses (A+ to E), aiming to achieve an attractive, stable return. This will allow you to build a balanced portfolio similar to the makeup of small businesses in the UK today. The projected return is estimated to be 7.5% per year after fees and bad debt.
  • Conservative: you will focus on lending to businesses that have been assessed as lower risk (initially A+/A) but with a lower projected return. The projected return is estimated to be 4.8% per year after fees and bad debt.

Your actual return may be higher or lower, and by lending to businesses your capital is at risk. You can read more about the improvements we are making, and what they mean for you, on our announcement page.

As part of the improvements we are making we are also updating the interest rates at which you lend to businesses. The projected return of both lending options have taken these changes into account. We’ll be introducing these new rates on 30th August, and you can read more about them here.

As part of this change we will also be updating our Terms and Conditions. You can view a summary of the main changes here.

We always want to hear your thoughts, so please fill out the feedback form on our announcement page if you would like to give us your feedback.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

Update to Funding Circle rates

At Funding Circle, our aim is to allow you to earn an attractive, stable return by lending directly to a diversified portfolio of creditworthy businesses. To help you achieve this, we regularly update and improve our assessment processes. This also includes regularly reviewing the interest rates at which you lend to businesses.

Following our recent review, we wanted to let you know about some upcoming changes to the interest rates on our platform and our assessment process.

What are the new rates?

From Wednesday 30th August, we will begin to list small business loans in the UK at the gross interest rates below. These rates are shown before fees and bad debt. The projected annual return for the overall Funding Circle loanbook, after fees and bad debt, will be 6.7%*.

We made an important announcement today about some improvements we are making to how lending through Funding Circle will work from the 18th September, including introducing two new lending options. Taking into account these changes, the projected annual return for these lending options, after fees and bad debt, is estimated to be:

  • Balanced – 7.5%
  • Conservative – 4.8%

Your actual return may be higher or lower, and by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.


As some borrowers will have begun their application before the new rates are introduced, you may see loans listed at different rates for the same risk band and term length up until 5th October.

How have the rates changed?

You can see how the new rates compare to our current rates in the table below:

Why are the rates changing?

When reviewing rates we take a number of factors into account, including macroeconomic trends, the expected mix of risk bands of borrowers, expected bad debt rates and wider competition in the market, which continues to be increasingly competitive for lower risk businesses. The new rates will allow you to continue to lend to established, creditworthy small businesses while earning an attractive, stable return.

Will this affect the businesses you lend to?

Over the past seven years, 64,000 investors have lent £2.5 billion to more than 25,000 UK businesses. This has provided us with significant amounts of performance data to help improve our statistical credit models and means we can provide even more accurate pricing decisions to borrowers. With these improvements to our credit models, you can expect to see an adjustment in the mix of risk bands of borrowers in the coming months. This adjustment means the new expected bad debt rate for the overall Funding Circle loanbook will be 2.3% annually.

The improvements also mean we can make updates to our policy criteria. Our policy criteria give direction to business owners and help filter out businesses that have a low likelihood of being approved, so our credit assessment team only spend time on the right type of applications. Our latest policy criteria are:

  • A minimum of two years trading history
  • At least 1 year of filed or formally prepared accounts
  • No County Court Judgments (CCJs) registered in the last 12 months, with no outstanding CCJs larger than £1000

Do you need to do anything?

The new rates will not affect any loan parts you currently hold, and will not apply to property development loans, which are priced individually.  

If you use Autobid to lend to businesses, there is nothing you need to do as Autobid will continue to place bids on new loans at the new rates until 18th September, when the new lending options will be introduced.

As a reminder, these new rates will go live on Wednesday 30th August. If you have any questions about today’s news, please get in touch.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

*The projected return is an estimate of the annual return, after fees and bad debts, that a diversified investor could earn. It is calculated by taking the distribution of loans, across both risk band and loan term, that we expect to be funded on the marketplace.

The return is then calculated by taking the gross interest rate of these loans, then deducting the fees and estimated bad debts that will occur in the future. The average return is weighted by loan amount, compounded and before tax. See the full calculation here.

Happy 7th birthday Funding Circle!

In August 2010, Funding Circle was launched by three university friends, Samir Desai, James Meekings and Andrew Mullinger above a waffle shop. Their small team of five huddled around a telephone battling for their first customers and originated £2 million of lending in their first year.

Seven years on, you and other investors have supported the growth of 32,000 small businesses across the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands. We’re blown away by how far we’ve come together so far and that’s all thanks to your lending.

Investors earning for their future

69,000 people and organisations are lending to small businesses, including local councils, the government-owned British Business Bank, the European Investment Bank and our most recent investor, Aegon. This new strategic lending partnership will support the growth of approximately 2,600 UK businesses, creating an estimated 6,400 new jobs in the first year. A diversified investor base ensures our platform is stable and sustainable, even in times of economic stress.

Businesses driving the economy forward

32,000 businesses have accessed finance, including David’s IT business, a doggy daycare in Suffolk, and our first ever borrower, Sustainable Direction. We recently met Dr John Henry Looney, founder of Sustainable Direction, to see how his business has grown since 2010.

Small businesses like these are the driving force behind much needed job creation, which in turn fuels productivity and the economy. Lending through Funding Circle has supported the creation of approximately 80,000 new jobs across the world.

And finally, we’re proud to have launched a new look, which celebrates the people who have turned their passions into livelihoods, supporting their families and local communities.

Thank you for choosing to be on this journey with us – Funding Circle wouldn’t be where it is today without all of your support.

Meet the 12 brewers bringing back beer

We celebrate the people who’ve turned their passions into livelihoods, supporting their families and local communities. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things, pushing the economy forward.

People like Jon Swain and Peter Hills

Old friends, Jon and Peter (pictured) came together, with years of experience working in pubs and a passion for home brewing, back in 2011 to set up Hackney Brewery in London. Read their story in this short picture story.

Meet the brewers bringing back beer

Over the past few years, the humble pint has exploded onto the world scene with craft breweries and beer festivals popping up across the globe. Inspired by the Great British Beer Festival last week, we’re giving three cheers to those producing delicious beers. Read our guide to British breweries who are flourishing thanks to your lending.

Up north

Upnorthbrewery

1) Roosters Brewery in North Yorkshire brews modern classic Yankee which scooped a silver at the 2017 International Beer Awards and Baby-Faced Assassin which achieved a gold medal at the same event. To continue investing in brewing capacity, Roosters have borrowed over £150,000 since 2015.

2) Over 500 investors helped the Worsthorne Brewing Company in Lancashire expand and keep up with growing demand for their cask ales. Established in 2011, the brewery has quickly gained a reputation for quality. Try their award-winning Old Trout or Blackthorne Stout.

Down south

Down south brewery
3) Over 800 investors helped Gloucester Brewery create an onsite bar and renovate their building. This year, the brewers are concentrating on using new world hops from New Zealand, Australia and US.

4) In the heart of the Devon countryside, Hunter’s Brewery uses only the best locally-sourced ingredients. Last year, you and other investors helped them increase brewing capacity by installing a new fermentation room.

5) Based in an old brick and flint grain store in Oxfordshire, Loddon Brewery borrowed back in 2015 to hire a new specialist member of staff. Choose from their range of beers in the brewery shop, including ‘rich, nutty and malty’ Hullabaloo and ‘highly hopped session ale’ Hoppit.

6) Named after the famous naval hero, Nelson Brewery situated in The Historic Dockyard Chatham uses the finest Kent hops to produce a wide variety of ales including their Admiral of the Fleet. The brewery borrowed in 2016 to buy new equipment and increase production.

In London

London has been at the epicentre of the recent British beer revolution, with a whole host of taprooms and breweries offering tours sprouting up across the capital.
In London Brewery
7) If you’re central, take a short walk from London Bridge and hidden under the railway arches you’ll find Brew By Numbers.The brewery, which borrowed earlier this year to finance expansion, hosts a range of events including beer and cheese evenings in their Tasting Room.

8) At By The Horns in south-west London you can find beer ‘that makes an impression’. Enjoy a pale ale in their taproom or rent out the beer hall for a special occasion. Over 1,500 Funding Circle investors helped the brewery purchase larger fermentation vessels to increase production.

9) When you’re out east, bumble across to Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick who first borrowed in 2015 to expand. While you’re there take a tour of the Brewshed or enjoy a pint and hand-rolled pizza in their fantastically up-cycled bar.

10) Based further north, check out Redemption Brewery in Tottenham and taste their range of 7 core cask ales onsite. They often have local pop-up food stalls as well so you can really make an evening of it. Redemption have borrowed over £90,000 since 2016 to support growth.

Somewhere in the middle

11) If you’re still thirsty there’s Byatt’s Brewery near Coventry who borrowed £50,000 to invest in equipment after moving to a 12 barrel brewery.

Whether you prefer cask, can, case or keg we hope you’ve enjoyed our journey across the country discovering the delights of real ale. Check back next time when we’ll be visiting even more fantastic Funding Circle borrowers.

Are you interested in lending to businesses like these?

Lend alongside over 63,000 investors and support small businesses across the UK by signing up online today.

You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Looking to expand your business?

More than 26,000 businesses in the UK have accessed finance from Funding Circle, helping with cash flow, refurbishment, hiring staff and much more. You can check if you qualify for a business loan online in just 30 seconds.

Your August Review – Insight and Analysis

August review
Each month we bring you a column by Simon Read, a personal finance expert with extensive experience in helping people make the most of their money. Last time, Simon looked at the effect rising inflation can have on your funds.

This month, fresh from filming the BBC’s Right on the Money Simon discusses how to look after the pennies with savvy financial planning. Also included in this month’s post, find out about our historic partnership with JustEat. Dive in below.

July lending figures
Last month, you and other investors helped businesses to take new opportunities, create new jobs and drive energy into the UK economy — thank you for your continued support!

July lending

July industry news

Included in last month’s industry news, The Times interview Funding Circle borrower Yilmaz Guney, who runs a Turkish Restaurant in North London, to understand how he’s benefited from Funding Circle & JustEat’s recent tie-up.

These graphs show the most recent activity on our platform.

You’ve helped more than 8,700 small businesses access finance in the last 6 months…

 No of loans July final

Totalling over £617 million lent

 Amount of loans July

July 2017 sector breakdown

Amount lent to each sector

July sector

July 2017 regional breakdown

Amount lent to each UK region

July region

Loans defaulted last week
As part of lending to businesses, a small percentage will not be able to fully repay their loan. This is known as bad debt and is a normal part of business lending. We believe diversification, where you lend no more than 1% of your total to each business, is the best way to reduce the impact this has on your return. You can diversify automatically using our Autobid tool.

Each week, we publish a list of the loans being defaulted on the Customer support section of our website under ‘Announcements.’ To see a breakdown of the loans defaulted last week simply click on loans defaulted 3rd August 2017.  For further information on why Funding Circle defaults loans you can read our FAQ here.

Collections and recoveries

How it works
You can also read more about how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Up next in September, we’ll be looking at the impact your lending is having on the UK economy and bringing to life some of the businesses you’ve helped access finance.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

*The current estimated return is a weighted estimate of the annual return after fees and bad debts that investors could earn from lending money to businesses seeking loans today. It is calculated by taking the gross interest rate less fees and estimated bad debts that will occur in the future for each of the last 3000 loans accepted on the marketplace. The average return is weighted by loan amount, compounded and before tax. The return is updated daily. See the full calculation here.

This blog is a general summary, and should not replace financial advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Funding Circle is not authorised to, and does not, provide investment, tax, legal or regulatory advice. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional advisor or seek independent specialist advice.

Your July Impact – Lending Impact and Borrower Stories

In this month’s post find out how your lending has helped businesses across the UK achieve their goals. First up, meet our very first Funding Circle borrower, Sustainable Direction, to hear about their latest project on the Isle of Alderney. Then, whizz to beautiful Brighton to learn how your lending helped Christine Johnston take her business, Kite, Surf & Sup Co, to the next level.

In case you missed it, here’s last month’s post, when South East Timber & Damp told us how accessing finance in just 10 days revolutionised their business back in 2015, and we met Amy Cunnington, owner of The Strings Club, who borrowed to keep up with demand for her award-winning music courses.

Dr. John Henry Looney is passionate about helping the world do more with less

Last month, Funding Circle co-founder and UK Managing Director James Meekings visited John Henry to see how his business, Sustainable Direction Ltd, had developed since taking out their first Funding Circle loan back in August 2010.

Dr. John Henry Looney from Sustainable Direction

With a Ph.D. in Physiological, Community and Statistical Ecology, John Henry has over 30 years’ experience in delivering environmental and sustainability projects for businesses and organisations. Sustainable Direction Ltd helps businesses work with the natural world in order to increase their sustainability, efficiency and ultimately their prosperity. Watch what happened when John met James in this short video.

Did you help Christine take her business to the next level?

Meet Christine Johnston, founder of Kite, Surf & Sup Co, a successful British kitesurf school and online shop in Brighton. Former windsurfing World Champion, Christine has kite surfed for nine years and holds eight national titles.

Christine Johnston, founder of Kite, Surf & Sup Co

After years of working long hours in an office, Christine knew this way of life wasn’t for her, so in 2014 she followed her dream and founded Kite, Surf & Sup Co. Two years later, the company was awarded British Kitesports Recognised School status – the highest level a kite school can reach – giving testament to the high-quality lessons that Christine and her team offer.

To upgrade the website, launch an online marketing campaign and purchase additional stock, Christine took out a loan in March 2017. Asked about her Funding Circle experience, Christine said, “The customer service I received was excellent and within a week the funds were in my account.”

Watch this space for a video about Christine and her amazing business coming soon!

Up next

At the beginning of August, we’ll be publishing ‘Your August Review – Insight and Analysis’ which will focus on the numbers and include some helpful tips to help you make the most of your investment.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team.

Your July Review – Insight and Analysis

Your July Review
If, like us, you’ve been inspired by Wimbledon, get new ideas to get active this summer with our list of 7 specialist Funding Circle borrowers who’ve flourished thanks to your lending.

Also included in this month’s post, The Telegraph looks at how our economy is dependent on the stability of small businesses. Dive in below.

June lending figures
Last month, you and other investors helped businesses to take new opportunities, create new jobs and drive energy into the UK economy — thank you for your continued support!

July investor stats

June industry News

Included in last month’s industry news, The Telegraph focuses on a recent Nesta report which shows that it’s small and medium-sized enterprises, not larger firms, that are supporting greater job creation in Britain, making up 50% of GDP and 60% of private sector employment. These businesses, like the ones you’re lending to through Funding Circle, really are the backbone of our economy.

Monthly trends
These graphs show the most recent activity on our platform.

You’ve helped more than 8,700 small businesses access finance in the last 6 months…

 June no of loans

 

Totalling over £625 million lent

June amount of loans

June 2017 sector breakdown

Amount lent to each sector
June sector

June 2017 regional breakdown

Amount lent to each UK region
June region

Loans defaulted last week
As part of lending to businesses, a small percentage will not be able to fully repay their loan. This is known as bad debt and is a normal part of business lending. We believe diversification, where you lend no more than 1% of your total to each business, is the best way to reduce the impact this has on your return. You can diversify automatically using our Autobid tool.

Each week, we publish a list of the loans being defaulted on the Customer support section of our website under ‘Announcements.’ To see a breakdown of the loans defaulted last week simply click on loans defaulted 6th July 2017.  For further information on why Funding Circle defaults loans you can read our FAQ here.

Collections and recoveries
How it works
You can also read more about how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Up next in July, we’ll be looking at the impact your lending is having on the UK economy and bringing to life some of the businesses you’ve helped access finance.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

*The current estimated return is a weighted estimate of the annual return after fees and bad debts that investors could earn from lending money to businesses seeking loans today. It is calculated by taking the gross interest rate less fees and estimated bad debts that will occur in the future for each of the last 3000 loans accepted on the marketplace. The average return is weighted by loan amount, compounded and before tax. The return is updated daily. See the full calculation here.

This blog is a general summary, and should not replace financial advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Funding Circle is not authorised to, and does not, provide investment, tax, legal or regulatory advice. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional advisor or seek independent specialist advice.

Your June Impact – Lending Impact and Borrower Stories

june investor impact
This month we’re looking at some of the success stories from recent borrowers and how your lending has helped them achieve their goals, from South East Timber & Damp to The Strings Club. Dive in below to find out more.

In case you missed last month’s post, we interviewed The Naked Marshmallow Company, and got ready for festival season with 5 camping essentials from Funding Circle borrowers.

know
You and other investors have now helped more than 25,000 UK businesses access finance to grow and create much needed jobs.

When it comes to driving the UK economy forward these small businesses pack a pretty impressive punch. According to FSB statistics SMEs make up 60% of all private sector employment and 47% of all private sector turnover in the UK.

lifesaver

Annabel and deanTo help cover their staff’s wages for two months, husband and wife team Annabelle and Dean Webster borrowed £30,000 in August 2015. They’d approached a bank first but found the application process slow and cumbersome as they needed finance fast, so they did some research and came across Funding Circle. Ten days later, the couple had secured a cash injection for their business. “It’s been a lifesaver,” said Annabelle. The couple run Kent based damp specialists South East Timber & Damp. Read the full success story in The Times.

Strings Club
Award-winning musical education company, The Strings Club, offers children aged 4-11 a range of high-quality musical experiences. Founder Amy Cunnington launched the business in 2012 with the aim to give primary school children an opportunity to discover and engage with music. Their ethos is simple: for all children to be inspired by music.

kids music

The very first Strings Club took place in London with just 6 budding students. After, a parent asked, “When’s the next one?” Since then, The Strings Club has gone from strength-to-strength and Amy has remained devoted to creating musical experiences for children.

Due to the rising popularity of courses and lessons, Amy needed help keeping up with demand. Choosing Funding Circle for support, Amy said, “The loans allowed me to expand my business, hire new staff, buy more equipment and launch a marketing campaign. Overall, the experience was very efficient and very helpful.”

We’ll be visiting Amy and the team soon to film a case study video – stay tuned.

Dream wedding
We’re well into wedding season and whether you’re organising your own or supporting family or friends with theirs we’ve put together a list of 7 unique businesses to help you get ready for the big day, from finding the perfect dress to finding the right venue.

Up next

At the beginning of July, we’ll be publishing ‘Your July Review – Insight and Analysis’ which will focus on the numbers and include some helpful tips to help you make the most of your investment.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Your June Review – Insight and Analysis

Your June Review
Summer has arrived, and it’s been another exciting month. We’ve been given full authorisation from the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority – another step forward to offering industry-leading, tax-free returns with the Funding Circle ISA, which we plan to launch later this year. You can read the full story in this article.

Also included in this month’s post, personal finance expert Simon Read looks at what the record level of inflation in the UK could mean for you and what you can do about it. Dive in below.

May lending figures
Last month, you and other investors helped businesses to take new opportunities, create new jobs and drive energy into the UK economy — thank you for your continued support!

June review
Remember, your actual return may be higher or lower as your capital is at risk.

Monthly trends
These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace.

You’ve helped more than 8,500 small businesses access finance in the last 6 months…

June number of loans

Totalling over £610 million lent

June amount of loans

May 2017 sector breakdown

Amount lent to each sector

Business sectors

May 2017 regional breakdown

Amount lent to each UK region

June business regions

Making the most of your investment

May Industry News

The Times looks at a variety of different apps to help make your money work harder, from keeping track of your spending to monitoring investments. Read about this and more in our round-up of last month’s industry news.

What does rising inflation mean for your money?

With inflation in the UK at a four-year high, personal finance expert Simon Read looks at what this could mean for you and what you can do about it in his latest blog.

Loans defaulted last week
As part of lending to businesses, a small percentage will not be able to fully repay their loan. This is known as bad debt and is a normal part of business lending. We believe diversification, where you lend no more than 1% of your total to each business, is the best way to reduce the impact this has on your return. You can diversify automatically using our Autobid tool.

Each week, we publish a list of the loans being defaulted on the Customer support section of our website under ‘Announcements.’ To see a breakdown of the loans defaulted last week simply click on loans defaulted 1st June 2017.  For further information on why Funding Circle defaults loans you can read our FAQ here.

Collections and recoveries

How it works

You can also read more about how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Up next in June, we’ll be looking at the impact your lending is having on the UK economy and bringing to life some of the businesses you’ve helped access finance.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

*The current estimated return is a weighted estimate of the annual return after fees and bad debts that investors could earn from lending money to businesses seeking loans today. It is calculated by taking the gross interest rate less fees and estimated bad debts that will occur in the future for each of the last 3000 loans accepted on the marketplace. The average return is weighted by loan amount, compounded and before tax. The return is updated daily. See the full calculation here.

This blog is a general summary, and should not replace financial advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Funding Circle is not authorised to, and does not, provide investment, tax, legal or regulatory advice. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional advisor or seek independent specialist advice.

Your May Investor’s Impact – Lending Impact and Borrower Stories

May investor impact
We’re looking at some of the success stories from recent borrowers and how your lending has helped them achieve their goals.

Dive in below to find out how your lending helped The Naked Marshmallow Company access finance to grow, and get ready for festival season with 5 camping essentials from Funding Circle borrowers.

In last month’s post, we interviewed husband and wife team David and Angie Cusworth who run award-winning IT services provider, Firstnet Solutions Ltd. They’re in the process of opening a new data centre in Yorkshire. Meet the couple and hear their story in this short video.

Did you know?
Last week, after battling it out in a gruelling knock out tournament, Funding Circle was crowned Ping Pong Fight Club Champions! Ping Pong Fight Club is a tour de force of inter-company ping pong rivalry, bringing together teams from technology start-ups and global brands to compete for the ultimate prize. Thank you to Pongathon for organising and congratulations to our champion, Luis, and runners up Iwoca pictured below.

Ping pong fight club

A great month for

Marshmalllow infographic

Magnificent marshmallow manufacturer set to expand

Founders Ollie Rendall and Joseph Colson dreamt of starting their own confectionary business while working together on the shop floor of Next. Working out of Ollie’s mum’s kitchen, the friends experimented with all sorts of flavours. Bubblegum and Eton Mess became favourites. The feedback from their families and colleagues was overwhelmingly positive and so The Naked Marshmallow Company was born!
Marshmallow Co

Fast forward 3 years and the business has gone from strength to strength, landing deals with well known high street stores and establishing themselves as pioneers of the gourmet marshmallow market. The pair are tirelessly focused on innovating and bringing unique and sumptuous products to the UK market. They’ve also let Ollie’s mum have her kitchen back!

’The funding will allow us to scale the business further and gear up for what’s likely to be another incredible Christmas. We’re investing in staff and machinery to enable the business to cope with volume and an ever-expanding product range. Our sincere thanks goes to all of the investors who have supported our business.’ To meet demand and buy equipment, The Naked Marshmallow Company in Lincolnshire borrowed £50,000 in May 2017. You can check out their products online here.

Camping essentials
Festival season is fast approaching, so now is the time to ensure you have all your supplies ready to go! Get outdoors with our list of 5 camping essentials, from water bottles to waterproofs, while also supporting amazing local businesses across the country.

Up next

At the beginning of June, we’ll be publishing ‘Your June Review – Insight and Analysis’ which will focus on the numbers and include some helpful tips to help you make the most of your investment.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Your April Impact – Lending Impact and Borrower Stories

April's investor impact

You told us that monthly and weekly updates were a little too much, so to better suit your needs we’re improving the way we talk to you on a monthly basis.

In your first Investor Impact, we’re looking at some of the success stories from recent borrowers and how your lending has helped them achieve their goals.

Did you know?

This month we hit more than 60,000 investors, big and small, lending to businesses through Funding Circle. Together your lending is having a real impact on the UK economy. Already in 2017 you’ve helped more than 5,000 businesses access much needed finance to grow and prosper. We’re going to need a pretty big venue to host everyone for our next event!

60000 people

A great month for

Firstnet create 100 new jobs in Leeds

Award winning IT services provider Firstnet Solutions Ltd was founded in 2011 to provide small businesses with the best possible IT infrastructure. Based in Leeds, husband and wife team David and Angie Cusworth are passionate about helping small businesses benefit from the same IT solutions as larger companies, but for a price that suits their needs.

Firstnet solutions

Last month, Firstnet Solutions Ltd opened a new purpose-built data centre in Yorkshire. David told us ‘we envisage that this data centre will create more than 100 new jobs, providing an important source of local employment.’

To facilitate the launch of their new data centre, Firstnet Solutions Ltd borrowed £74,480 in October 2016. David added: ‘Accessing finance through Funding Circle has helped our business achieve this success and we will look to work together more as we grow.’ Congratulations to David and the team!

We’ll be visiting David and the team soon to film a case study video – stay tuned.

April's success story

Paralympian goes for gold with a Funding Circle loan

Husband-and-wife team Peter and Linda Norfolk are well-experienced in achieving excellence. Nicknamed ‘The Quadfather’, Peter Norfolk OBE is a double paralympic gold medal and multiple Grand Slam winning wheelchair-tennis player, while Linda was Head of Physio for the Paralympic GB team at the Athens Games.

Not content with just winning medals, together they also own and run Equipment for the Physically Challenged (EPC), specialising in providing high-performance wheelchairs and powerchairs.

To hire two new members of staff, Equipment for the Physically Challenged (EPC) borrowed £30,000 in 2016. Meet this inspiring couple and hear more about their story in this short video.

5 fun ideas

The glorious summer weather is fast approaching and with more bank holidays coming up in May, it’s the perfect time to start planning. We’ve put together a list of five great ideas, from picnics to watersports and weekend getaways, to help you get outdoors and support businesses that have flourished thanks to your lending.

Up next

At the beginning of May, we’ll be publishing ‘Your May Review – Insight and Analysis’ which will focus on what’s been happening on the marketplace to help you get the most from your investment.

As always, if you have any questions or comments our dedicated team are here to help. And if you have any further suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team