Your Funding Circle Guide To Christmas 2016

Everyone loves Christmas. Whether you’re celebrating with friends, family, or colleagues, we all look forward to the festive fun. Even Clive, the office grinch, is secretly waiting to put on his paper crown and start telling some jokes. The only downside is there’s a lot to organise. That’s where we come in.

christmas lanterns

Over the next few weeks our guide will give you everything you need for a cracking Christmas. We’ll be bringing you unique ideas from our marketplace, covering stocking fillers, decorations, food and drink, and things to do over the holidays. Not only will they help 2016 be a Christmas to remember, you’ll be supporting local businesses from across the country.

First up, it’s presents. Here are a some of our recommendations for gifts this year.

The Cashmere Centre

The Cashmere Centre have an amazing range of high quality products, from cardigans and jumpers to socks and scarves. All made from the finest Grade Mongolian cashmere, they’re the perfect cosy gift for Christmas. In order to increase stock and improve their online presence, The Cashmere Centre borrowed £40,000 from 507 investors back in 2010.

Rattle & Drum

Know any aspiring musicians, or perhaps someone looking to make the leap from guitar hero legend to a bona fide pro? Rattle & Drum have been kitting out wannabe rockers since the 90s, adding a wide variety of instruments and equipment to their core drums and percussion range. To open an in-house teaching facility and increase cash flow, they’ve borrowed £125,000 over several loans since 2013. They now teach over 400 children a week from their shop in Derby.

Brag Vintage

Brag Vintage are a Sheffield based company dedicated to retro clothing for men and women. They compliment their extensive denim range with hand picked shirts, jumpers, and dresses, and they’ll help save some money for mince pies with free delivery on all UK orders! Brag have borrowed £80,000 from Funding Circle over two loans since 2015, moving to a larger warehouse to increase the range and quantity of their stock as they continue to grow.

Countryside Ski & Climb

Have an adventurous friend? Countryside Ski & Climb specialise in outdoor equipment, so there’s no better place to look for ski jackets, rucksacks, or outdoor and climbing apparel. To update their website and improve their customer experience, Countryside Ski & Climb accessed £20,000 from 172 investors in 2011.

RC Geeks

Christmas morning wouldn’t be complete without some new gadgets to play with, and RC Geeks have the gear to appeal to kids of all ages. Create some serious excitement with a quadcopter or a self-assembly remote control car, with plenty of accessories to add on too. RC Geeks borrowed to increase their product range and grow their business further.

Next week we’ll be taking a look at your essential Christmas supplies, covering food, drink, and decorations.

Are you interested in lending to businesses like these?

Lend alongside 55,000 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?

We’ve helped more than 17,000 businesses access finance for a range of finance needs, including hiring staff, opening new shops and working capital. Get your instant quote today.

Enjoy lending. The Funding Circle team

What a month! | Weekly Lending Review

Week 47: 21 – 25 November

You and other investors lent a sensational £112.9 million to more than 1,500 UK businesses in November. Reaching £100 million lent in one month is a huge milestone for the Funding Circle community as we strive to help even more small businesses access simple and affordable finance. Thank you for your continued support.

New loans available to you

There are currently 12 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy which will help you become diversified.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was also a record-breaking £28,019,800, averaging at £76,053 per loan. The largest loan value was £511,680 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

 Gross interest rates are before fees and bad debts. Your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses, your capital is at risk.

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 (The calculation is AGY = (1 + (two week rolling weighted average rate/12))^12 – 1). You can view the latest gross interest rates accepted on the marketplace on our statistics page.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

WLR 47 yield

Number of loans, value of loans and amount lent are reported weekly.

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 47 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR 47 loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 47 amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 47 loan parts

Loans defaulted last week

Agricultural merchant. Loan 5637. Risk band B

This County Down business was established in 2006 and has been placed into insolvent liquidation.

Film producers. Loan 9841. Risk band B

This Somerset business has been running since 2012 and has become unresponsive after missing repayments.

Caterers. Loan 13262. Risk band C

This London business was established in 2011 and is 3 months in arrears.

Electrical contractors. Loan 9529. Risk band D

This Tyne and Wear business is 3 months in arrears.

Advertising suppliers. Loan 16172. Risk band B

This London business has been running since 2004 and is 2 months in arrears.

Technology specialist. Loan 10627. Risk band A

This London business was established in 2007 and is 3 months in arrears.

Lighting specialist. Loan 20701. Risk band E

This Hertfordshire business has been running since 1995 and was placed into administration in October 2016.

Consultancy. Loan 24571. Risk band A

This Middlesex business was established in 2011 and requested voluntary dissolution in September 2016.

Hauliers. Loan 8295. Risk band C

This West Midlands business has been running since 2005 and is 3 months in arrears.

Electrics supplier. Loan 21715. Risk band A

This West Glamorgan business has was established in 2007 and is being placed into insolvent liquidation.

Coffee shop. Loan 21918. Risk band A

This Hertfordshire business has been running since 2001 and has proposed a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Benefits of diversification

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns, while helping businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loan, which is why lending a small amount to lots of different businesses is so important. Watch our 90 second diversification video below to find out more.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of the loans described above and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Take 10: Get the most from your sales call

Quick and simple ways to boost your business in 10 minutes

 

Take 10 blog banner

Good sales calls are critical for any growing business, because no matter how good your product or service is, sales are what drive your bottom line.

Whether you have a dedicated sales team or just one person who handles all your phone enquiries, ensure you’re getting the most from your sales calls by reading over our 7 tips.

1. Be prepared

Before you pick up the phone, take every step to make sure you’re prepared. What is the agenda you’d like to cover? What are your key messages? Write this down clearly, so you can refer back to it during the call. Are you clear on what your goal is, what you need to find out and what the next steps are?

If you’re outbound calling, is there any information you can find out about the customer beforehand to help drive your conversation?

2. Introduce yourself and your company

When you’re on the call, the first thing to do is introduce yourself and your company – this could be the first interaction you have with a customer so it’s important to get this right. Be  professional, but human – no-one wants to talk to a robot!

3. Know what you’re offering

It may seem obvious, but knowing what product or service you’re offering and what the benefits are is really important. You should be able to answer almost anything the customer throws at you. Confident answers will inspire confidence in both you and your product, which are essential to closing that sale.

4. Listen

The best sales people listen to their customers – what their problems are and what they need, so you can find a solution that’s tailored to them. Put the benefits of your product in their terms, help them visualise what it can do for them personally.

5. Build rapport and show interest

Learn all you can about your customer. The next time you speak to them you can then have a genuine conversation about their needs and the solution you have come up with. This will show the customer they’re important to you and help to build trust into your relationship.

6. Follow up

Follow up on your call with an email to thank them for their time, highlight what was covered and, most importantly, what the next steps are.

7. Practice

Not all calls will result in a sale but there is always a positive to takeaway. Use every rejection as an opportunity to reflect on what didn’t go so well, so you can try a different angle on your next call.

As the founder of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom, said, “You shouldn’t be afraid of failure – when something fails, you think, ‘What did I learn from that experience? I can do better next time.’ Then kill that project (or sales technique) and move on to the next. Don’t get disappointed.”

Enjoyed this?

Have a read of other Take 10s, including how to write a press release and how to be smart with your time

Holistic healing: Natural products to cleanse the body and soul

Sunita Passi, founder of Tri-Dosha, was working as a business journalist when she became aware that many of her peers were suffering from stress and anxiety. Led by her love for holistic healing, and inspired by memories of her grandfather’s Ayurvedic health clinic in India, Sunita took it upon herself to discover how she could help others through her passion.

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In 2005, Sunita founded Tri-Dosha, producing award-winning, naturally crafted bodycare and skincare products based on the ancient Indian holistic health system, Ayurveda. They also run training sessions on their methods to masseurs and spas across the UK. By importing only natural and sustainable ingredients from places as far as India, Tri-Dosha supports small business owners and communities across the world.

To help create her new ‘NEEM’ product range, Sunita borrowed £21,060 through Funding Circle in October 2015. The product is now being sold by a major high street retailer.

In this short video, meet Sunita and find out more about how Tri-Dosha is helping to boost the UK’s wellbeing.

 

Are you interested in lending to businesses like Tri-Dosha?

Lend alongside 53,000 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 17,000 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.

Record-breaking week! | Weekly Lending Review

Week 46: 14 – 18 November

Last week, you and other investors helped over 460 businesses across the UK access a record £32 million to grow and prosper. Log in to view current lending opportunities on the marketplace.

Record amount of loans listed on the marketplace

There are currently 24 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy which will help you become diversified.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was also a record-breaking £29,005,960, averaging at £69,887 per loan. The largest loan value was £537,780 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Gross interest rates are before fees and bad debts. Your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses, your capital is at risk.

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 (The calculation is AGY = (1 + (two week rolling weighted average rate/12))^12 – 1). You can view the latest gross interest rates accepted on the marketplace on our statistics page.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

We updated our interest rates on 7 November. Find out more about the change in our blog.

WLR 46 - yield

Number of loans, value of loans and amount lent are reported weekly.

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 46 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR 46 loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 46 amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 46 loan parts

News you should know

Funding Circle borrower Newton Farm Foods has been named Family Business of the Year 2016 at the British Farming Awards. Huge congratulations to Celia and the team. Find out how your lending helped the Gay family refurbish their farm shop and cafe in this short video.

Deloitte Technology Fast 50

We were delighted to be ranked 16th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50, which ranks the country’s 50 fastest growing technology companies, driven by leading intellectual property and based on revenue growth over the last four years.

Loans defaulted last week

Joiner. Loan 1610. Risk band C

This Dorset business has been running since 1961 and was placed into administration in October 2016.

Ecohome specialist. Loan 20694. Risk band A+

This Bedfordshire business was established in 2008 and is being placed into liquidation.

Employee assistance programmes. Loan 6926. Risk band D

This Bedfordshire business has been running since 2005 and is 3 months in arrears.

Children’s play centre. Loan 21859. Risk band B

This Cheshire business was established in 2009 and is 3 months in arrears.

Home improvements. Loan 4899. Risk band C

This Monmouthshire business has been running since 2007 and is being defaulted to crystallise the liability of the guarantor.

Lighting specialist. Loan 3930. Risk band D

This Surrey business was established in 2010 and has become unresponsive after missing repayments.

DIY products wholesaler. Loan 24783. Risk band A

This Bedfordshire business has been running since 1983 and was placed into administration in November 2016.

Sofa manufacturer. Loan 4296. Risk band A

This Tyne and Wear business was established in 2006 and been placed into administration.

Wiper blade manufacturer. Loan 3295. Risk band C

This Merseyside business has been running since 2000 and has entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Hauliers. Loan 7951. Risk band B

This County Down business was established in 2004 and has ceased trading.

Consultancy. Loan 9309. Risk band C

This Middlesex business has been running since 2010 and is consulting a debt charity.

Pipework contractors. Loan 11118. Risk band B

This Cheshire business was established in 2006 and has been placed into administration.

Internet service provider. Loan 7276. Risk band A

This Surrey business has been running since 2010 and has entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Estate agent. Loan 17659. Risk band A+

This Leeds business was established in 2010 and has ceased trading.

Grocery shop. Loan 7090. Risk band A

This London business has been running since 2009 and has ceased trading.

Benefits of diversification

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns, while helping businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loan, which is why lending a small amount to lots of different businesses is so important. Watch our 90 second diversification video below to find out more.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of the loans described above and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Our favourite winter warmers | Weekly Lending Review

Week 45: 7 – 11 November

Whether you prefer some cosy cashmere, a beautiful beanie or a long soak in a bubble bath, we’ve put together a 6 step guide to help you keep cosy this winter.

New loans available to you

There are currently 24 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy which will help you become diversified.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £25,379,560, averaging at £72,438 per loan. The largest loan value was £567,020 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Gross interest rates are before fees and bad debts. Your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses, your capital is at risk.

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 (The calculation is AGY = (1 + (two week rolling weighted average rate/12))^12 – 1). You can view the latest gross interest rates accepted on the marketplace on our statistics page.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

WLR 45 yield

Number of loans, value of loans and amount lent are reported weekly.

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 45 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR 45 loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 45 amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 45 loan parts

Loans defaulted last week

Architects. Loan 23047. Risk band A

This Aberdeenshire business was established in 2006 and has been placed into liquidation.

Nursery. Loan 5149. Risk band C

This Cardiff business has been running since 2010 and has entered formal insolvency proceedings.

Consultancy. Loan 9309. Risk band C

This Middlesex business was established in 2010 and has consulted a debt charity.

Service station. Loan 9543. Risk band B

This North Wales business is 4 months in arrears.

Manufacturer. Loan 19010. Risk band C

This Dorset business has been running since 1961 and was placed into administration in October 2016.

Flooring specialist. Loan 20126. Risk band C

This Hertfordshire business was established in 2012 and is being placed into insolvent liquidation.

Garage. Loan 6845. Risk band B

This Yorkshire business has been running since 2014 and has proposed an Individual Voluntary Arrangement.

Building maintenance company. Loan 6359. Risk band C

This Nottinghamshire business was established in 2010 and is being placed into insolvent liquidation.

Lighting specialist. Loan 20701. Risk band E

This Hertfordshire business has been running since 1995 and was placed into administration in October 2016.

Distribution company. Loan 23220. Risk band D

This County Down business was established in 2012 and has ceased trading.

Builders. Loan 14062. Risk band B

This Surrey business has been running since 2010 and is being placed into insolvent liquidation.

Commercial cleaners. Loan 17803. Risk band A

This Somerset business was established in 2012 and has ceased trading.

Renewable energy services. Loan 18448. Risk band B

This Yorkshire business has been running since 2012 and is being placed into liquidation.

Pharmacy. Loan 8197. Risk band A

This Aberdeenshire business was established in 2001 and is 3 months in arrears.

Steel works. Loan 6689. Risk band D

This Carmarthenshire business has been running since 2006 and is being placed into a formal insolvency process.

Telecoms consultancy. Loan 24571. Risk band A

This Middlesex business was established in 2011 and has requested voluntary dissolution.

Steel specialist. Loan 15664. Risk band A+

This Lancashire business has been running since 2000 and is being placed into insolvent liquidation.

Manufacturer. Loan 17174. Risk band E

This Tyne and Wear business was established in 1999 and has entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Estate agent. Loan 17659. Risk band A+

This Leeds business has been running since 2010 and has ceased trading.

Haulage company. Loan 7951. Risk band B

This County Down business was established in 2004 and has ceased trading.

DIY products wholesaler. Loan 24783. Risk band A

This Bedfordshire business has been running since 1983 and has been placed in administration.

Aluminium specialist. Loan 8846. Risk band B

This West Sussex business was established in 2010 and is being placed into insolvent liquidation.

Packaging company. Loan 22733. Risk band A

This Hampshire business has been running since 2010 and has ceased trading.

Marketing agency. Loan 19690. Risk band C

This Glasgow business was established in 2003 and has requested voluntary dissolution.

Telesales company. Loan 8786. Risk band C

This Glasgow business has been running since 2012 and has become unresponsive after missing repayments.

Fishing bait producers. Loan 15287. Risk band A

This Somerset business was established in 2012 and has ceased trading.

Benefits of diversification

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns, while helping businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loan, which is why lending a small amount to lots of different businesses is so important. Watch our 90 second diversification video below to find out more.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of the loans described above and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Industry insights: 90 seconds with an expert

No one knows more about the day to day running of a business than the Funding Circle borrower community, so each month we ask an industry expert to share their expertise.

Industry insights (2) The drinkware industry

Recently, we heard from Darren Goldfinch, owner of Finch House, to gain insights into the cafe and coffee shop industry. For the second in our series, we caught up with Helen Smith, owner of Glogg, to hear her thoughts on designing and manufacturing a range of drinkware products.

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See Helen’s stainless steel cup being manufactured in our short video.

Helen started Glogg in 2007 to plug a gap in the market for stainless steel, BPA-free water bottles. To help meet an order for 200,000 stainless steel pint cups for this year’s Glastonbury festival, Helen borrowed £40,000 in January 2015.

In this short video, Helen shares her insights into bringing a successful range of products to life:

  • Lease your products to customers at events such as festivals
  • Invest in getting the right legal advice from the start
  • Carefully plan how much it will cost, and how long it will take to create a product
  • Plug any gaps in your skill set by partnering with experts

Looking for funding for your next project?

If, like Helen, there is a product you want to bring to life, you can check if you qualify for a business loan online in just 30 seconds.

We’ve helped more than 17,000 businesses access finance for a range of purposes, and you can read more stories like Helen’s here.

A year of growth for online lending. October industry news

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Combining the best of both worlds

Last month our team was the lead sponsor at LendIt, the largest conference dedicated to connecting the global online lending community. The conference, which took place over two days in London, had more than 900 attendees from across the world. Samir Desai, Funding Circle CEO and co-founder, delivered the keynote speech where he discussed the importance of being good at both the ‘fin’ and the ‘tech’. Watch the video to learn about the three ‘mega-trends’ that make online lending an unstoppable force and read this piece to hear why Samir believes our sector is about to enter a ‘golden age’.

City grandee backtracks over peer-to-peer lending

The seminal moment of the conference came when Lord Turner spoke about online lending and whether it poses systemic risk to our economy. As an individual who once viewed the industry with uncertainty, Lord Turner said he now better understands the level of credit assessment platforms undertake. He went onto say that the fast-growing sector may come to form a stable and secure part of the financial ecosystem – and could even make a future credit crunch less likely. Watch his speech here and read more in Bloomberg, Daily Telegraph, Business Insider, AltFi and the Times.

Brexit confronts U.K.’s online lenders with biggest test yet

Following the EU referendum result, Bloomberg took a look at how online lending platforms have responded. Even before the referendum, we were carrying out further stress tests on our loanbook to show what could happen to investor returns during an economic downturn. The results predict that in a deeper and longer-lasting recession than 2008, investor returns are likely to remain attractive. Although as always, capital is at risk. Read the full results on our blog.

Entrepreneurs urge government to consider access to tech talent after Brexit

Being able to attract the best talent is crucial if we want to ensure the UK maintains its status as the leading global FinTech hub. Last month, Britain’s leading technology companies wrote to the government urging them to find solutions to the digital industry’s need for international talent, particularly developers. Read more in City AM.

If it’s good enough for Neil Woodford… peer-to-peer trusts can yield up to 10% – but are they worth the risk?

Another way for investors to diversify their online lending portfolio is to look at the various investment trusts that are now in this space. These funds allow investors to diversify either across regions or platforms. Learn more about the opportunities and risks involved with these investments in This is Money. Remember, when you lend, your capital is at risk.

How treating our pets like people created a market for dog hotels and ‘clean eating’ kibble

Thousands of businesses have benefited from online lending across the country, such as Funding Circle borrower, Suffolk Canine Creche. This luxurious doggy daycare has lush overnight hotel suites, an on-site grooming spa, training lessons and even a swimming pool! The friendly staff guarantee that your pup will have a fun and enjoyable stay in their care. Candy, founder, was able to move to a bigger premises to keep up with the high demand after borrowing £100,000 from you and other investors. Read the full success story on our blog.

Can YOU solve the puzzle?

And finally, are you up for a challenge? We recently released an tricky brain teaser puzzle called Brandscape. The aim of the game is to uncover 60 globally recognised brands and companies with cryptic clues. If you answer all 60 correctly, you become a #BrandscapeMaster and have your name added to the Brandscape Hall of Fame. Think you have what it takes? Find out here!

News

Take 10: Is your business cyber secure?

Quick and simple ways to boost your business in just 10 minutes

 
Cyber security

For the seventh in our Take 10 series, we’re looking at some of the most common cyber security threats facing small businesses in the UK today, and outline 5 simple measures to help protect your business from cybercrime.

One in four businesses reported a cyber breach or attack last year

The internet has revolutionised the way businesses interact and attract customers, and many business owners feel it’s a critical part of their success. However, despite the internet’s many benefits there are security risks involved too – particularly around online security.

Government statistics warn that one in four businesses reported a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months, and the latest Security Breaches Survey found the average cost of a severe security breach for a small business was between £75,000 and £310,800, up from £115,000 in 2014.

Statistics like these and the invisible threat of cyber crime can make it seem daunting. However, just like installing a security system in a high street shop, there are simple measures you can take to help safeguard your business against online criminal activity. To adequately protect your business, it’s data and reputation, it’s important to first have an understanding of the different types of online threats.

What is a cyberattack?

A cyberattack is any type of attempt to damage, destroy or gain unauthorized access to a business’s computer network or system. The perpetrator is often referred to as a ‘hacker.’

There are many different types of cyberattack, including:

Cyber fraud: attackers impersonate legitimate entities in order to commit fraud. An example of this would be an attacker impersonating a senior member of staff in an attempt to convince an employee to transfer company money for a seemingly legitimate business purpose.

Denial of service attack: DoS occurs when an attacker floods a website with more requests than it can respond to at one time so the website becomes unavailable. If customers cannot access your site, they may not be able to do business with you.

Hack attack: an attacker may compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of a business’s network or data by exploiting a vulnerability in their cyber environment.

Ransomware: a type of malicious software, typically received by phishing email, which blocks access to computer systems until a ransom is paid.

Any combination of these cyberattacks could cause significant damage to a business of any size. Although unfortunately it’s thought that small businesses are seen as an easier target by cyber criminals, as they have more digital assets than an individual, but traditionally less security than a larger company. To help keep your business cyber secure, we’ve put together the below top 5 tips.

5 ways to ensure your business is more cyber secure

1) Use strong and unique passwords

It’s tempting to use an easy-to-remember password, like your birthday or mother’s maiden name, across multiple accounts. However, using a strong password, which includes both uppercase and lowercase letters, a number and a symbol, and unique passwords for each system, can help slow or even prevent unauthorized access to your computer or business systems. Password manager tools can help you generate and remember complex passwords.

2) Install and run antivirus or antimalware software

Antivirus or antimalware software is designed to detect viruses and malware and can help protect against or quickly identify viruses and malware on a computer system. Not every type of cyberattack can be prevented with antivirus or antimalware software, however installing and maintaining it can help minimise the risk of compromise.

3) Cultivate security-conscious staff

I’m sure we’ve all at one point sent an email to the wrong recipient accidentally, and although in some cases it might just cause embarrassment it could also have serious security implications for a business, if data were to land in the wrong hands for example. It’s important to establish a security-conscious culture as your employees have a critical role in maintaining business security. To assist, the Government provides free online cyber security training courses, which take between 45 – 75 minutes to complete, specifically designed for staff at small businesses.

4) Have a plan for when problems arise

However prepared you are there will be security incidents that arise from time to time, whether it’s your internet going down or an employee losing their work phone on a train. Having a plan in advance could help reduce the incident’s impact, support business continuity and will improve customer and stakeholder confidence. To help you put together a policy, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills have put together 10 steps for incident management.

5) Mitigate potential losses with cyber liability insurance

As part of your risk management plan, businesses can purchase cyber liability insurance which can mitigate losses from a variety of incidents, including data breaches, business interruption and network damage. Before you buy, it’s important to investigate which risks are covered by insurance packages, including your current policies, and that any new policy covers your true cyber exposure.

The overwhelming message from experts is that businesses should be prepared for a cyber security breach at all times. To help businesses stay one step ahead, the UK Government publishes a wealth of information including:

51% of businesses are yet to achieve a Government Cyber Essentials badge

There’s also a new Government-backed scheme, the Cyber Essentials badge, to guide businesses in protecting themselves against cyber threats. This typically costs around £300 to complete and provides customers that do business with you confidence that you’re taking important steps in protecting the cyber security of your business.

We hope you found this post useful. In the next instalment of Take 10, we’ll be looking at how to upskill your sales team.

The Funding Circle team

Highlights from our 5th investor evening | Weekly Lending Review

Week 44: 31 October – 4 November

This week we launched new interest rates, and posted highlights from our 5th investor evening. Take a deep dive into the key themes from the evening, including how your lending is playing a vital role in the UK economy, in this short video.

New loans available to you

There are currently 13 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy which will help you become diversified.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £23,385,200, averaging at £70,884 per loan. The largest loan value was £513,360 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Gross interest rates are before fees and bad debts. Your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses, your capital is at risk.

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 (The calculation is AGY = (1 + (two week rolling weighted average rate/12))^12 – 1). You can view the latest gross interest rates accepted on the marketplace on our statistics page.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

WLR 44 yield

Number of loans, value of loans and amount lent are reported weekly.

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 44 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR loan value

Total amount lent

WLR amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR loan parts

News you should know

We were delighted to be named ‘Specialist Lender of the Year’ at the NACFB Gala Dinner and Industry Awards last week.

Loans defaulted last week

Security company. Loan 18236. Risk band D

This Yorkshire business has been running since 2013 and is being placed into liquidation.

Builders. Loan 15098. Risk band D

This West Sussex business was established in 2009 and is being placed into liquidation.

Glazing specialist. Loan 14146. Risk band E

This Norfolk business has been running since 2011 and is being placed into liquidation.

Restaurant. Loan 6607. Risk band B

This Tyne and Wear business was established in 2007 and is being placed into liquidation.

Interior designers. Loan 20109. Risk band A

This Aberdeenshire business has been running since 2010 and is being placed into liquidation.

Petrol station. Loan 13581. Risk band C

This Hampshire business was established in 2012 and is 3 months in arrears.

Display equipment supplier. Loan 9275. Risk band A+

This Hampshire business has been running since 1992 and is being placed into liquidation.

Agricultural product wholesaler. Loan 12553. Risk band B

This Northern Ireland business was established in 2006 and is being placed into liquidation.

Audio visual specialist. Loan 20587. Risk band B

This Hampshire business has been running since 2008 and is being placed into liquidation.

Recruiter. Loan 16279. Risk band A

This London business was established in 2002 and is being placed into liquidation.

IT reseller. Loan 13970. Risk band B

This Lancashire business has been running since 2011 and is being placed into liquidation.

Reptile retailer. Loan 9452. Risk band A+

This Monmouthshire business was established in 2004 and is being placed into liquidation.

Car showroom. Loan 17369. Risk band A+

This Midlothian business has been running since 1999 and is being placed into liquidation.

Lifestyle business. Loan 21214. Risk band C

This London business was established in 2009 and was dissolved in June 2016.

Benefits of diversification

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns, while helping businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loan, which is why lending a small amount to lots of different businesses is so important. Watch our 90 second diversification video below to find out more.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of the loans described above and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Highlights from our summer investor evening

This summer, we welcomed 60 investors to our office in London for our fifth investor evening. We always enjoy meeting you, these evenings are a great way for you to find out what we have been working on, as well as providing a forum to give feedback. We hope those who attended had a great evening ‒ we really appreciate you taking the time to visit us.

For those who weren’t able to attend, we have put together a couple of videos from the evening. The first is a quick two minute highlight video showing how the evening went.

 

We also wanted to share an extended highlights video, outlining some of the key themes of the evening:

Key Themes:

Playing a vital role in the economy

James Meekings, Co-founder and UK Managing Director, gave an overview of the positive impact your lending has had on the UK economy since 2010, along with an update on what the EU referendum means for Funding Circle. Read more on how your lending has boosted the U.K Economy by £2.7 billion since 2010.

Delivering a strong and consistent credit performance

Jerome Le Luel, our Global Chief Risk officer, discussed how we use a balanced mix of risk tools when assessing businesses to ensure we create a full picture of a borrower’s financial health.

Jerome also discussed our recent work in stress-testing the Funding Circle loanbook. You can see what could happen to your returns in the event of the UK entering a recession on our blog. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Supporting Britain’s small homebuilders

Luke Jooste, head of Real Estate & Broker Introduced Finance, talked about how Funding Circle investors are providing a solution to Britain’s housing crisis, helping to bridge the funding gap that small property developers face. We’ll be discussing more on how property lending works at Funding Circle in the coming months.

Working hard to recover your investment

Andrew Jackson, head of Collections and Recoveries, shared how the recovery rate on defaulted loans has increased since bringing our Collections and Recoveries team in-house in 2014. He also spoke about our ‘survival for revival’ strategy – which often yields the best long term results for investors.

You can read more on how our collections and recoveries process works here.

We always look forward to meeting you, and will hold more of these evenings in the future. Look out for invitations in future weekly and monthly newsletters.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

Winter warmers: our 6 step guide to keeping cosy

What could be  better than snuggling up with your loved ones in-front of a fire over the holidays? A new pair of snug socks or a mug of hot apple cider to warm you up of course!  Stay cosy this season with our 6 step guide, featuring businesses that have flourished thanks to Funding Circle investors.

Step 1: Cosy cashmere

Cuddle up in a new cashmere jumper this season from the The Cashmere Centre. The company, based in beautiful Buckinghamshire, have a delightful range of cashmere goods. From slippers and socks to a woven house robe, you’re guaranteed to be comfortable in this soft range of clothing. In order to increase stock and improve their online presence, The Cashmere Centre borrowed £40,000 from 507 investors back in 2010.  

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-15-50-04

Step 2: Beautiful beanies

Need to pop to the shop? Don’t forget your new Fuzzy Earflap Beanie beanie from Countryside Ski & Climb. The company specialise in outdoor equipment, so if you’re looking for new winter jackets or gloves, have a browse on their online shop. To update their website and improve their customer experience, Countryside Ski & Climb accessed £20,000 from 172 investors in 2011.

Step 3: Tasty tea

Now you’re all wrapped up, why not make yourself a cup of loose leaf tea from Nothing But Tea? The family-run tea shop have a wealth of experience in tea and stock over 200 different types! Whether you like a classic Earl Grey, Orange Blossom Oolong, or something a bit different like their Peanut Butter and Jam Fruit Tea, this shop has something to suit all taste buds. To increase stock levels to ensure prompt service, Nothing But Tea borrowed £10,000 in February 2011.

Step 4: Amazing apple Cider

If you’re more of an apple cider enthusiast, then Omi’s Apfelstrudel is for you! Omi’s Apfelstrudel presses delicious juice in Austria’s apple growing centre “Steiermark”. Drink it hot, cold, or with a little dash of spirit – whatever you fancy! To launch a new marketing campaign, Omi’s Apfelstrudel borrowed through the Funding Circle marketplace in the Netherlands in 2015.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-15-51-25

Step 5: Mood lighting

Wouldn’t a nice new set of fairy lights warm up your living room? Cable and Cotton encourage you to personalise your beautiful hand-made lights. Orange, yellow and burgundy hues are the perfect way to light up your home during those dark evenings. To fund stock purchase, 428 Funding Circle investors helped Cable and Cotton access £50,000 back in 2012.

Step 6: Bubble bath

Finish your day with an aromatic scented bath with foams, salts and oils from Neals Yard Remedies, based in charming Bath, England. Their popular lavender duo will help you unwind and relax – whether during a long soothing soak in the bath or a refreshing shower, it’s the perfect way to end your day. The popular shop increased their turnover by 30% over the holiday season after borrowing £100,000 from 935 individual investors.

Are you interested in lending to businesses like these?

Lend alongside 53,000 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?

We’ve helped more than 17,000 businesses access finance for a range of finance needs, including hiring staff, opening new shops and working capital. Get your instant quote today.

Enjoy lending. The Funding Circle team

We’re changing our interest rates | Weekly Lending Review

Week 43: 24 – 28 October

We regularly review our interest rates, taking into account a number of factors including macroeconomic trends and wider competition in the marketplace. Following our recent review, we’ll be updating our interest rates on Monday 7 November 2016. Read more about the new interest rates in our blog.

Please note the new interest rates will not affect any loan parts you currently hold and there’s nothing you need to do.

New loans available to you

There are currently 5 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy which will help you become diversified.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £24,867,920, averaging at £79,189 per loan. The largest loan value was £572,260 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Loan parts available for you to buy:

Gross interest rates are before fees and bad debts. Your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses, your capital is at risk.

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 (The calculation is AGY = (1 + (two week rolling weighted average rate/12))^12 – 1). You can view the latest gross interest rates accepted on the marketplace on our statistics page.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

WLR 43 yield

Number of loans, value of loans and amount lent are reported weekly.

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 43 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR 43 loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 43 amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 43 loan parts

News you should know

We’ve been included in the Future of Fintech Awards shortlist, which lists the top 10 financial technology companies to watch. Find out more in the FT.

Loans defaulted last week

Clothes shop. Loan 1248. Risk band E

This London business has been running since 2003 and was placed into liquidation in October 2016.

Restaurant. Loan 8813. Risk band C

This Gloucestershire business was established in 2014 and was declared bankrupt in September 2016.

Hairdressers. Loan 18589. Risk band E

This Merseyside business has been running since 2011 and is being placed into liquidation.

Gas mains specialist. Loan 21322. Risk band D

This Glasgow business was established in 2011 and was placed into administration in October 2016.

Digital agency. Loan 11506. Risk band C

This London business has been running since 2009 and is 3 months in arrears.

Building maintenance service. Loan 21193. Risk band C

This West Sussex business was established in 2006 and is 3 months in arrears.

Shop. Loan 6028. Risk band B

This West Midlands business has been running since 2009 and is 3 months in arrears.

Car showroom. Loan 25739. Risk band B

This West Midlands business was established in 2011 and is being placed into liquidation.

Dairy farm. Loan 9228. Risk band B

This County Tyrone business is 3 months in arrears.

Benefits of diversification

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns, while helping businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loan, which is why lending a small amount to lots of different businesses is so important. Watch our 90 second diversification video below to find out more.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of the loans described above and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Changes to Funding Circle’s UK rates

At Funding Circle, our aim is for investors to be able to earn attractive returns that reflect the level of risk involved when lending to businesses. As part of this commitment, we regularly review our rates, taking a number of factors into account including macroeconomic trends, expected bad debt rates and wider competition in the market.

Over the last six years you have helped over 17,000 small businesses access finance. This has provided us with more credit performance data, allowing us to make even more accurate pricing decisions.

Following our recent review, we wanted to let you know about some upcoming changes to the fixed interest rates on the Funding Circle marketplace.

The new rates will not affect any loan parts you currently hold, and will not apply to property loans, which are priced individually. Taking into account the rate changes across all risk bands, and the proportion of loans we expect to list in each risk band, we expect the estimated return for investors with a diversified portfolio, after fees and bad debt, to be approximately 7.0%.

As an example, If we applied these new rates to the last 100 loans accepted on the marketplace (as of 19th October 2016), we estimate that the annual return for those loans after fees and bad debt, but before tax, would be 7.0%.*

What are the new rates?

From 7th November 2016, 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 debts.

new_rate_table_20161027

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 for up to 15 days from 7th November.

There will be no change to our estimated bad debt rates due to this change. You can see our estimated bad debt rates by risk band on our statistics page, and remember that by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

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. The interest rates you currently have saved in your Autobid settings will still apply for buying loan parts on the secondary market. If you want to update your settings in order to buy loan parts on the secondary market at different rates, you can update them by logging into your account and navigating to Autobid.

How have the rates changed?

We are lowering rates for A+, A and B risk bands and increasing them for C (except for loans with a 6 month term, which are being lowered), D and E bands. You can see how the new rates compare to our current rates in the table below.

new_rate_table-changes-05

Why are the rates changing?

The new rates ensure we can continue to compete in an increasingly competitive market for lower-risk borrowers.

In addition, increasing the rates for some of our higher-risk bands will increase the loss coverage on those risk bands. The loss coverage is the number of times the estimated bad debt for that risk band would need to increase by, before it begins to affect the initial amount invested by investors. Loss coverage is important to consider when thinking about what might happen in an economic downturn.

The loss coverage for loans across all risk bands under the new rates will be 4.0x. Our latest stress tests estimate that in a downturn similar to the one experienced in 2008, bad debt for small business loans could increase by 2.0x. You can read more on how investor returns could be affected in an economic downturn here.

What does this mean for overall returns?

We anticipate that returns after fees and bad debt, but before tax, for investors with a well-diversified portfolio will not be significantly impacted by the new rates. There will be no change to our estimated bad debt rates due to this change. Looking at the proportion of loans we expect to list in each risk band after the new rates are introduced, we estimate that the annual return for investors across these loans, after fees and bad debt, will be approximately 7.0%.

This is similar to the estimated annual return for loans originated on the Funding Circle marketplace since 2014, seen in the table below.**

origination-date

Since the Bank of England’s decision to cut the base rate in August, we have seen a general trend of falling interest rates across the wider market. The 7% estimated return is market leading when compared to other major peer-to-peer lending platforms. Past performance is not a guide to future performance, and by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

This blog was updated with further information on 31/10/2016 at 18:00. Please note these rates only apply to the UK marketplace.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

*This estimated return is an estimate of the annual return after fees and bad debts that investors could earn. 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 100 loans accepted on the marketplace (as of 19th October 2016). The average return is compounded and before tax. You can see the full calculation for the current estimated return, which looks at the last 100 loans accepted on the marketplace, here.

**Data correct as of 1st October 2016. You can see the full calculations for past performance by loan origination year here.

4 ghoulishly good Halloween ideas | Weekly Lending Review

Week 42: 17 – 21 October

Halloween is just round the corner: Whether you’re looking for petrifying pumpkins, spooky sweets or creepy costumes our list of  4 hauntingly good Halloween ideas from Funding Circle borrowers will ensure you have a ghoulishly good night.

New loans available to you

There are currently 10 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy which will help you become diversified.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £23,333,500, averaging at £79,004 per loan. The largest loan value was £500,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Gross interest rates are before fees and bad debts. Your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses, your capital is at risk.

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 (The calculation is AGY = (1 + (two week rolling weighted average rate/12))^12 – 1). You can view the latest gross interest rates accepted on the marketplace on our statistics page.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

WLR 42 yield

Number of loans, value of loans and amount lent are reported weekly.

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 42 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR 42 loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 42 amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 42 loan parts

Loans defaulted last week

School. Loan 18036. Risk band A+

This London business has been running since 2005 and was placed into administration in October 2016.

Marketing agency. Loan 5128. Risk band C

This Norfolk business was established in 2010 and is 3 months in arrears.

Management consultancy. Loan 4244. Risk band B

This Lancashire business has been running since 2005 and is 4 months in arrears.

Planning consultancy. Loan 9273. Risk band B

This Yorkshire business was established in 2009 and is 3 months in arrears.

Marketing material supplier. Loan 422. Risk band C

This Northamptonshire business has been running since 2007 and is 4 months in arrears.

Car dealership. Loan 12612. Risk band C

This Wiltshire business is 4 months in arrears.

Fish & chip shop. Loan 21262. Risk band C

This Ayrshire business was established in 2012 and is 3 months in arrears.

Construction training provider. Loan 16533. Risk band C

This County Durham business has been running since 1997 and was placed into liquidation in October 2016.

Restaurant. Loan 4974. Risk band A

This West Midlands business was established in 2004 and was placed into liquidation in October 2016.

Printer. Loan 8202. Risk band C

This Nottinghamshire business has been running since 2002 and is being placed into liquidation.

Drum retailer. Loan 4085. Risk band B

This Tyne and Wear business was established in 2006 and is being placed into liquidation.

Benefits of diversification

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns, while helping businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loan, which is why lending a small amount to lots of different businesses is so important. Watch our 90 second diversification video below to find out more.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of the loans described above and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Reusable drinkware supplier rocks Glastonbury

Helen Smith started Glogg in 2007 after spotting a gap in the market when looking for a durable reusable water bottle. Producing a wide range of styles and sizes, it wasn’t long before Glogg became one of the leading UK suppliers of stainless steel, BPA-free water bottles.

When Glastonbury needed a business to produce 200,000 stainless steel pint cups for this year’s festival, Glogg was ready for the challenge.

Meeting such a large order was no easy task steel had to be sourced directly from Sheffield, and Glogg teamed up with APS Metal Pressings LTD to help manufacture the new cup.
_60a3031

To fund the design of the tooling used in the manufacturing process, Helen borrowed £40,000 from 533 investors. The new product was a major success, and a number of other festivals around the UK have placed follow up orders.

In this short video, meet Helen and find out how Glogg is helping events and festivals to be more sustainable.

 

Are you interested in lending to businesses like Glogg?

Lend alongside 53,000 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.

Do you want to grow your business?

More than 16,000 businesses in the UK have accessed finance from Funding Circle, helping with cash flow, refurbishment, hiring staff and much more. Get your instant quote today!

Telegraph: how can I get 8pc for the least risk? | Weekly Lending Review

Week 41: 10 – 14 October

In your round-up of last month’s industry news, The Telegraph discusses the benefits of online lending and we’re pleased to welcome Eric Daniels, former Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB, to the Funding Circle family.

New loans available to you

There are currently 12 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy which will help you become diversified.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £23,743,340, averaging at £82,398 per loan. The largest loan value was £500,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Gross interest rates are before fees and bad debts. Your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses, your capital is at risk.

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 (The calculation is AGY = (1 + (two week rolling weighted average rate/12))^12 – 1). You can view the latest gross interest rates accepted on the marketplace on our statistics page.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

WLR 41 yield

Number of loans, value of loans and amount lent are reported weekly.

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 41 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR 41 loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 41 amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 41 loan parts

News you should know

Lord Turner turns from critic to fan of online lending

Speaking at the LendIt Europe conference last week, Lord Turner, former chairman of the UK’s financial regulator, said marketplaces like Funding Circle, are ‘likely to become a stable and useful part of the credit supply system.’ Find out more in Bloomberg.

Top 10 London Startups with the Most Gender Equal Commercial Teams

This week, it was great to be ranked one of the Top 10 London Startups with the Most Gender-Equal Commercial Teams.

4 hauntingly good Halloween ideas

Stock up on decorations, sweets and costumes from these 4 small businesses to ensure a ghoulishly good night this Halloween.

Loans defaulted last week

Shop. Loan 1515. Risk band A

This Somerset business has been running since 2000 and is 3 months in arrears.

Motorcycle specialist. Loan 2427. Risk band C

This London business was established in 2007 and has ceased trading.

Videographer. Loan 17271. Risk band E

This London business has been running since 2011 and is 3 months in arrears.

Online retailer. Loan 19119. Risk band D

This Hertfordshire business was established in 2012 and is being placed into liquidation.

Manufacturer. Loan 20161. Risk band C

This London business has been running since 1993 and is being placed into liquidation.

Fabric structure specialist. Loan 7424. Risk band A

This Somerset business was established in 2001 and is being placed into liquidation.

Construction company. Loan 16023. Risk band A

This Kent business has been running since 2006 and is being placed into liquidation.

Wine manufacturer. Loan 641. Risk band A

This Gloucestershire business was established in 2002 and has proposed a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Financial advisers. Loan 20538. Risk band A+

This Yorkshire business has been running since 2007 and was placed into liquidation in May 2016.

Benefits of diversification

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns, while helping businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loan, which is why lending a small amount to lots of different businesses is so important. Watch our 90 second diversification video below to find out more.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of the loans described above and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

Britain’s fintech industry is flourishing. September industry news

Newspapers - Copy

£1.5 billion lent to British businesses

Five years, four months and ten days after Funding Circle launched, we celebrated investors lending £1 billion. Just nine months later you’ve lent a further £500 million to bring the grand total to £1.5 billion! You and other investors have helped more than 16,000 businesses across the country, including Daren’s bakery in Kent and Candy’s doggy day care in Suffolk. Your continued support has helped these amazing companies acquire the finance they need to grow and prosper. Read more on our blog.

Peer-to-peer: how can I get 8pc for the least risk?

Following the Bank of England’s decision to lower the base rate, the Telegraph discusses the benefits of online lending as another form of investment, including the potential returns and risks involved. With direct lending, the key to managing risk is having a diversified portfolio, which you can achieve by spreading your money across hundreds of loans. Learn why we believe diversification is so important in this video on our blog and on our statistics page. Remember, when you lend, your capital is at risk.

Fintech start-ups put banks under pressure

Technology is increasingly allowing customers to manage their finances on the go. Fintech companies are providing services to suit our fast-paced lives, such as international payments from a mobile phone or lending to small businesses directly through platforms like Funding Circle. Startups have the advantage of being free of legacy technology systems and high overhead costs. Increasingly we’re seeing banks and fintech companies collaborate to provide an even better service to customers.

How to work out the best way to raise money for your business idea

Not only is fintech shaking up the way people invest their money, it’s also opening up new channels of finance for businesses looking to expand and grow. There are many options to consider when looking for funding, and it may be overwhelming if you’re not sure what route to take. This is Money looks at when the right time is to explore external financing, the different choices available and how to decide which one is best suited for your company’s needs.

Britain’s Tech Giants Can Take On The World

Proof that Britain’s technology industry is flourishing is seen in the rising number of incredible tech businesses across the country. Investment into the sector and the funding options now available to these companies helps them to unleash their true potential. For an example of a technology business that has grown and benefitted thanks to you and other investors, check out this case study video on our blog of Danny Long, founder of Pure Technology.

Ex-Lloyds CEO Joins Board of Funding Circle

And finally, we were pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Daniels to the Funding Circle board as a Non-Executive Director. Former Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB, Daniels has over 40 years experience in the financial and banking sector, and will help us to achieve our aim of revolutionising small business finance across the world. Read more in the Telegraph.

Excellence award for our Collections team! | Weekly Lending Review

Week 40: 3 – 7 October

Last week, our Collections team won the Credit Excellence Award in Collections 2016 and you helped more than 190 UK businesses access much needed finance.

We also launched a fun cryptic puzzle, Brandscape, which we thought you might enjoy. Find 60 global brands in the landscape below to become a BrandscapeMaster. Play Brandscape.

brandscape image

New loans available to you

There are currently 6 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy which will help you become diversified.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £18,579,040, averaging at £74,878 per loan. The largest loan value was £555,340 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Gross interest rates are before fees and bad debts. Your actual return may be higher or lower as by lending to businesses, your capital is at risk.

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 (The calculation is AGY = (1 + (two week rolling weighted average rate/12))^12 – 1). You can view the latest gross interest rates accepted on the marketplace on our statistics page.

Weekly average gross yield (2 weeks rolling)

WLR 40 Yield

Number of loans, value of loans and amount lent are reported weekly.

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 40 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR 40 loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 40 amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 40 loan parts

Loans defaulted last week

Language school. Loan 6170. Risk band B

This Conwy business was established in 2006 and is 3 months in arrears.

Bakery. Loan 15349. Risk band A

This Antrim business has been running since 2011 and has become unresponsive after missing repayments.

Office supplies. Loan 17272. Risk band D

The Essex business was established in 2007 and is 3 months in arrears.

Shop. Loan 7266. Risk band C

This Fife business has been running since 2008 and was dissolved in September 2016.

Automotive parts specialist. Loan 8375. Risk band A

This Birmingham business was established in 1986 and is being placed into Company Voluntary Liquidation.

Electrical contractor. Loan 20765. Risk band B

This Essex business has been running since 2011 and has proposed a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Construction company. Loan 7145. Risk band B

This Cambridgeshire business was established in 2002 and is being placed into liquidation.

Manufacturer. Loan 22965. Risk band A

This West Midlands business has been running since 2010 and has entered administration.

Site clearance specialist. Loan 14054. Risk band D

This Lancashire business was established in 2009 and has ceased trading.

Restaurant. Loan 22671. Risk band A

This Bristol business has been running since 2008 and has been closed for the last 2 months.

Legal cost service. Loan 12066. Risk band B

This Tyne and Wear business was established in 2009 and was placed into administration in March 2016.

Pipework specialist. Loan 15703. Risk band B

This Somerset business has been running since 2012 and is being placed into liquidation.

Building suppliers. Loan 14115. Risk band C

This Lancashire business was established in 2011 and is being placed into liquidation.

Benefits of diversification

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns, while helping businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loan, which is why lending a small amount to lots of different businesses is so important. Watch our 90 second diversification video below to find out more. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of the loans described above and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read how our collections and recoveries process works (part one and part two) on our blog.

Enjoy lending, the Funding Circle team

 

Fright night: 4 hauntingly good Halloween ideas

Don’t be a lazy bones this year! Creep it real with Funding Circle’s guide to a ghostly Halloween. Stock up on decorations, sweets and costumes from these 4 small businesses to ensure it’s a ghoulishly good night.

Creepy costumes

The first thing you need to think about this Halloween is your costume. Find one that will set you apart from all the other witches and zombies out there at I Love Fancy Dress, a family-run online costume retailer based in Southend-on-Sea. To expand into the wholesale market, they’ve borrowed over £390,000 across three loans since 2013. Have fun browsing a huge range of Halloween goodies, including masks, scars, teeth and wigs – guaranteed to help you look fang-tastic!

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Petrifying Pumpkins

Next thing you’ll need are decorations, so getting that perfect pumpkin is essential. Carve one that will get your neighbours talking, and also help the local community, by purchasing through a family-owned business Annie’s Fruit Shop. To help with increased demand, Annie’s Fruit Shop, who are based in beautiful Devon, accessed more than £240,000 across 4 loans since 2015 from investors across the UK. Whether you’re an expert, or a beginner, pumpkin carving is an activity that’s fun for all ages.

Spooky sweets

When your home is devilishly decorated, make sure to visit Hancocks Confectionery and grab some spine-chilling sweets to hand out to trick-or-treaters. The popular shop have a great selection of candy, such as Alien Head Lollipops and Jelly Filled Skulls! To help with cashflow, the company borrowed £27,500 from 619 investors. Make sure you don’t eat them all before the kids start knocking!

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Chilling chocolate

The final step is… Chocolate! James Chocolates have been producing award-winning and creative sweets in Somerset for over 20 years – including their deliciously haunting Hopping Popping Frogs. These hand-painted delights are sure to surprise your guests with their popping candy center! James Chocolates needed to refit their office to make space for their new telesales team, so have borrowed £150,000 across 2 loans since 2014.

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