The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide 2015 | Weekly Lending Review

Week 49: 30 November – 4 December 2015

During December, we’re showcasing the best marketplace gift ideas for friends and family from Funding Circle borrowers. Part one included personalised Santa Sacks, award-winning food from Somerset and hats to see you through the festive season in style. Read our Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide (part two) to help make your Christmas extra special and support local businesses up and down the country.

We’re showcasing each business on Funding Circle’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram pages and would love for you to share the ones you like! #GiftGuide2015

New loans available to you

There are currently 46 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £16,177,800 averaging at £77,352 per loan. The largest loan value was £500,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,280.

Business loans available to bid on:

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

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 30-Nov represents the week of 30th November – 4th December 2015.

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 49 Yield

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

Number of listed loans per week

WLR 49 loans listed

Listed loan value per week

WLR 49 loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 49 amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 49 loan parts

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We’re always interested to hear your thoughts and feedback so we can improve. To take the survey click here.

News you should know

Two new case studies coming soon

We visited 2 Funding Circle borrowers last week and the videos will be on the blog soon.

New images on the marketplace

We’ve updated the default sector images for loan requests. You can see the new images on the marketplace here.

Loans defaulted last week

School uniform supplier. Loan 10122. Risk band B

This East Dunbartonshire business was established in 1996 and has been placed in compulsory liquidation.

Landscapers. Loan 7242. Risk band D

This West Sussex business has been running since 2008 and is being placed in creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

Film production equipment supplier. Loan 9421. Risk band B

This Worcestershire business was established in 2003 and has instructed a debt management advisor.

Telecommunications service. Loan 1703. Risk band C

This Hampshire business has been running since 2008 and has been struggling to make its final repayment since March 2015.

Print company. Loan 8548. Risk band A+

This West Yorkshire business was established in 2008 and the borrower has become unresponsive.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read more about how our collections and recoveries process works on our blog.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide (part 2)

 

Looking for cracking Christmas gifts? We can help. In the run up to Christmas we’re showcasing the best marketplace gift ideas for friends and family from Funding Circle borrowers. Last week, part one included personalised Santa Sacks, award-winning food from Somerset and hats to see you through the festive season in style.

We’re showcasing each business on Funding Circle’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram pages and would love for you to share the ones you like! #GiftGuide2015

Day 7 : Astis Mittens, US

Are you someone who loves the great outdoors? Astis Mittens are a glove and mitten manufacturer based in San Francisco who combine today’s technology with natural materials to produce wonderfully warm gloves. Business owner Charlie, who borrowed through the  Funding Circle marketplace in the USA, views each hand sewn mitten as a work of art.

Astis Mittens Product

Day 8 : Tatty Devine

Finish off your party outfit with a piece of statement jewellery from Tatty Devine. The micro-manufacturer’s standout designs blur the boundaries between art, fashion and culture and are the perfect accessory for the party season. Tatty Devine borrowed £100,000 in May 2013 to grow the brand and expand internationally.

Day 9 : Neal’s Yard Remedies in Bath

Struggling for stocking fillers? How about a zesty citrus handwash from Neal’s Yard Remedies. This Bath franchise of the well-known British retailer is run by Jon Huxley, an Acupuncturist, Amanda Lewis-Stark, a Medical Herbalist and Elizabeth Season, a Naturopath. After finding a larger premises just 20 yards from their existing shop, they borrowed £100,000 through Funding Circle. They were 30% busier during the Christmas period in 2014, compared to Christmas 2013, thanks to your lending.

Day 10 : Pampeano

Spruce up your 2016 wardrobe with a hand stitched polo belt from pampeano, who  borrowed £30,000 in March 2014. The business, located in Dorton, near Aylesbury, supplies the majority of UK polo retailers with own label polo equipment. They also design fashionable polo belts made from Argentine leather; combining South American craftsmanship with British luxury to create exquisite hand crafted belts. The name pampeano means ‘from the pampa’, an area of Argentina renowned for its vast rolling plains.

pampeano belts

Day 11 : La Petite Poissonnerie

Looking for a festive fish dish? Husband and wife team, Nic and Zaya Rascle run a French and Japanese fusion fishmonger in London, La Petite Poissonnerie, which aims to bring together the flair of French cooking and the unique ingenuity of Japanese cuisine. They compliment the fresh fish with a selection of French Epicerie and Wines, and a range of Japanese groceries. La Petite Poissonnerie borrowed £30,000 through the marketplace in August 2015.

La Petite Poissonnerie Nic

Day 12 : BloodandSand Limited

Christmas shopping in London? Rest your feet for a moment and enjoy a classic cocktail at Demon, Wise & Partners, run by BloodandSand Limited who borrowed £104,000 to open the new bar. Business owner Rufus co-founded BloodandSand Limited more than 8 years ago with a university friend who shared his passion for delivering delicious drinks in an unrivalled atmosphere. BloodandSand Limited now has two cocktail bars in London; ‘The Hide’ on fashionable Bermondsey Street, and Demon, Wise & Partners just near Bank underground station.

Day 13 : Orchid Essence

What to get the person who has everything? How about a flower essence from The Flower Essence Repertoire?  Based on the picturesque Isle of Gigha, in the Inner Hebrides, The Flower Essence Repertoire manufactures essences from orchids grown in their greenhouse and exports them worldwide. Business owner Don Dennis borrowed £18,000 from 266 investors to buy more raw materials to increase production.

Orchid Essence

In next week’s list of marketplace gift ideas we’ll be showcasing shearling coats, art books, fruit liqueurs and much, much more. Find out more next Monday!

Thank you to all investors

Thousands of people and larger investors have lent over £960 million to 12,000 UK businesses through the Funding Circle marketplace since 2010. Thank you for all of your support in 2015, and we look forward to bringing you more lending opportunities in 2016.

Looking for finance?

Looking for a business loan to help with seasonal demand? Check your eligibility online in just 30 seconds.

Is banking about to be Uberised? November industry news.

Newspapers - Copy

Beyond Banking: Alternative groups seize business from lenders

Marketplace lending platforms are growing rapidly, and commentators predict banks will suffer similar market share losses as those inflicted on traditional taxi drivers by Uber. Marketplaces make up a relatively small proportion of total lending, but the sector is booming and continues to grow by %100 year on year. And, by creating partnerships with banks, such as our tie-up with Santander, we are able to work together to provide thousands of small British businesses greater access to finance.

P2P securitisation is coming

CityAm predicts a securitisation of small business marketplace loans will take place sometime in the New Year, which would be great news for small businesses across Europe. This is a way for larger investors such as pension funds and insurance funds to lend across marketplaces, opening up small business lending even further. This follows an ECB paper which highlighted the importance of securitisation as a way of getting more funds to small businesses.

We can lead world in financial technology, Osborne tells City

At the Bank of England’s Open Forum, The Chancellor commented that he expects fintech to transform banking, from mobile payments to marketplace lending platforms. The government is fully behind this ambition with more than £100 million already pledged to the sector through the British Business Bank, which includes £60 million through Funding Circle’s marketplace since 2013.

Funding Circle launches first P2P investment trust

Last week, the Funding Circle SME Income Fund successfully raised its first round of money to lend through the Funding Circle marketplaces, and listed on the London Stock Exchange. In this first round, the SME Income Fund has accessed shareholders including asset managers, pension funds and private wealth managers, giving small businesses the opportunity to borrow from an even wider range of investors through the Funding Circle marketplaces. For more info, please read the blog or visit the website. There was further coverage in the Telegraph, CityAM and AltFi. The shares in the SME Income Fund have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold into the United States or to US persons.

Transcript: FT City Network

In an online debate published in the Financial Times, Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder, gives his view on whether the kind of backstop liquidity facilities available to banks should be extended to other institutions. Samir comments: “Companies such as Funding Circle, which connect investors and borrowers directly, do not pose a systemic risk as they do not conduct maturity transformation.” In the rare case that a platform does fail, there are S&P rated back-up servicers that step into service down loan portfolios. He finishes by posing the question of whether central banks will potentially use marketplace lending platforms as a way to stabalise the economy and get money to small businesses in the next economic downturn. Lending through a marketplace such as Funding Circle is an investment, not a deposit, so it’s important to understand the risks involved as your returns can go down as well as up.

How to bridge the small-firm funding gap

And finally, Bank of England figures suggest that small-business overdrafts have fallen from approximately £21 billion in April 2011 to less than £13 billion today. This article in the Evening Standard addresses the small business funding gap and discusses the different options for small businesses to access finance. Statistics published in the Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) show that cumulative lending, across all platforms, now stands at over £3 billion and is on track to hit £4 billion by the New Year.

News

50% fee discount to celebrate Small Business Saturday!

Small-Business-Saturday-UK-Facebook-Banner-2015

Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s all about Small Business Saturday here at Funding Circle!

The annual campaign promotes the benefits of buying local, and encourages the British public to consider shopping at smaller businesses rather than the high street. As the UK’s largest online marketplace for business loans, we wanted to show our support and back Small Business Saturday too.

To celebrate, we’re offering a fee discount of 50% if your business applies for a loan this weekend. Friday is included too!

Check if you’re eligible in 30 seconds.

How the offer works

  • The offer is a 50% discount from your overall fee to Funding Circle. For example, if your loan was for £100,000 over 3 years where the fee is 3% (£3,000), you would pay £1,500 and receive £1,500 as cashback.
  • This offer is open to new Funding Circle members only. To be eligible, businesses need to sign up between 4th – 6th December 2015 with the promo code, and accept their loan by 01/03/2016. Read the full terms and conditions here.
  • If you want to take advantage of this offer, apply here with the promo code: SB15.

Read more about business loans at Funding Circle.

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide and a record-breaking week | Weekly Lending Review

Week 48: 23 – 27 November 2015

Included in this week’s round-up: 208 businesses accessed a record-breaking £15.9 million through the Funding Circle marketplace last week thanks to you and other investors, and we’ve put together a list of marketplace gift ideas to help with your pre-Christmas prep.

New loans available to you

There are currently 33 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £18,188,240 averaging at £76,755 per loan. The largest loan value was £450,000 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 your capital is at risk.

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 23-Nov represents the week of 23rd – 27th November 2015.

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)

Yield

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

Number of listed loans per week

Loans listed

Listed loan value per week

Loan value

Total amount lent

Amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 48 loan parts

News you should know

Funding Circle Gift Guide 2015

Over the next four weeks (and in four parts) we’ll be showcasing the best marketplace gift ideas for friends and family from Funding Circle borrowers. So, instead of heading to the high street for your presents, stocking fillers and Christmas Day fayre, why not support local businesses up and down the country and make your Christmas extra special this year. Read our Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide (part one) on the blog.

We’ll be showcasing each business on Funding Circle’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram pages and would love for you to share the ones you like! #GiftGuide2015

Improved loan comments view

We’ve improved the view for loan comments allowing you to show and hide recent information about your loans. Log back into your account to see them.

Loans defaulted last week

Electrical contractors. Loan 7477. Risk band D

This Gwent business was established in 1994 and has been placed in creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

Partition wall specialists. Loan 5757. Risk band B

This County Durham business has been running since 2003 and is putting a payment proposal together.

Mobile phone reseller. Loan 5628. Risk band C

This Buckinghamshire business was established in 2008 and is late in its repayments.

Food importer. Loan 5371. Risk band B

This Surrey business has been running since 2010 and has been struggling to make repayments since September 2015.

Energy saving solutions. Loan 2529. Risk band B

This Neath Port Talbot business was established in 2010 and is late in its repayments.

Nursery. Loan 12452. Risk band D

This Lancashire business has been running since 2007 and has proposed nominal repayments for the next three months.

Garage. Loan 8028. Risk band B

This Shropshire business was established in 2014 and is proposing an individual voluntary arrangement.

Construction business. Loan 13634. Risk band B

This West Yorkshire business has been running since 2015 and has proposed an individual voluntary arrangement.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read more about how our collections and recoveries process works on our blog.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide (part 1)

Haven’t started your Christmas shopping? Fear not. Over the next four weeks we’ll be showcasing the best marketplace gift ideas for friends and family from Funding Circle borrowers. So instead of heading to the high street for your presents, stocking fillers and Christmas Day fayre, why not support local businesses up and down the country and make your Christmas extra special this year.

We will be showcasing each business on Funding Circle’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram pages and would love for you to share the ones you like! #GiftGuide2015

Day 1 : Lapland Sack Company

Spoil little ones rotten this Christmas with a personalised Santa Sack from The Lapland Sack Company, who have borrowed over £300,000 since February 2014. The sacks, which are made by the Vendequm (the oldest, most experienced of Santa’s Elves), are printed using eco-friendly inks in Essex and £1 is donated to ‘The Wings of Hope’ Charity for every sack sold. They even come with a special wooden ‘Made by Elves’ tag and measure a large 50cm x 80cm so there’s plenty of room to store all your marketplace gifts. Excellent!

Lapland Sack Company

Day 2 : The Stripes Company

You’ll find seasonally striped fabric gifts for home and garden at The Stripes Company in Chester, who’ve borrowed more than £175,000 across multiple Funding Circle loans since 2011.

A new pair of striped oven gloves are perfect for brightening up your kitchen this Christmas. Why not get the matching apron and tea towels too?

Day 3 : Moo Free

Looking for an indulgent stocking filler to enjoy on Christmas Day? How about a cute snack sized Santa chocolate bar from Moo Fee Chocolates? Moo Free, who manufacture dairy-free, gluten-free, organic and vegan chocolates from their base in Reading, borrowed £85,000 from 844 people in 2013. Yum!

Moo Free Chocolates

Day 4: Laird Hats

Looking for a trilby, porkpie or flatcap to see you through the festive season in style? Stand out from the crowd with a new hat from Laird Hatters, who borrowed £140,000 from more than 2,000 Funding Circle investors to expand their range of handmade hats and caps. There’s something to suit all styles and tastes.

Laird Hats

Day 5: Hackney Brewery

The perfect gift for any craft beer aficionado is a selection of Hackney Brewery ales. The brewery, who used their business loan to buy a new fermenter, produce a range of beers including a Golden Ale, an American Pale Ale and a New Zealand Pale Ale, with the odd guest beer from time to time. Now what to eat…

Hackney Brewery Ale

Day 6: Newton Farm Foods

Are the in-laws descending on you for the Christmas period? Stock up on free range meats, artisan cheese, chutney and local honey from family-run Newton Farm Foods.

Set in the picturesque Somerset village of Newton St Loe, Newton Farm Foods borrowed £60,000 in 2014 to expand their food emporium and continue to sell award-winning produce. At this year’s Great Taste Awards, widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation for artisan producers, Newton Farm’s ‘home-grown’ belly of pork (from a native breed – a cross between British saddlebacks and Gloucester Old Spots) won Gold, the highest accolade. Order yours today!

In next week’s list of marketplace gift ideas we’ll be showcasing some statement party jewellery, winter warmers from the US, luxury leather belts and much, much more. Find out more on Monday!

Thank you to all investors

Thousands of people and larger investors have lent over £945 million to 12,000 UK businesses through the Funding Circle marketplace since 2010. Thank you for all of your support in 2015, and we look forward to bringing you more lending opportunities in 2016.

Looking for finance?

Looking for a business loan to help with seasonal demand? Check your eligibility online in just 30 seconds.

 

Funding Circle SME Income Fund closes first round at £150 million

Today we have announced that the Funding Circle SME Income Fund has successfully raised its first round of money to lend through the Funding Circle marketplaces, and will shortly list on the London Stock Exchange.

Through the SME Income Fund, shareholders get exposure to Funding Circle small business loans globally across its marketplaces, initially in the UK and US and potentially thereafter in Continental Europe.

The fund will buy up to 35% of loans originated through the Funding Circle marketplaces, and will only buy whole loans alongside larger investors. It will therefore not directly compete with retail investors, and loans will be randomly allocated to the fund in the same way they are randomly allocated as whole or partial loans.

In this first round, the SME Income Fund has accessed shareholders including asset managers, pension funds and private wealth managers, giving small businesses the opportunity to borrow from an even wider range of investors through the Funding Circle marketplaces. This marks an important step on our journey to creating a global marketplace where any investor, big or small, can lend to small businesses across the world. A diverse range of investor capital will make the marketplace more sustainable, helping to protect small businesses in the future.

Currently we can only facilitate direct lending within each country due to different regulatory environments. In addition, the shares in the SME Income Fund have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold into the United States or to US persons.

For more information, please visit the website: www.fcsmeif.com   

This is not intended as an offer for sale of any securities, nor as a financial promotion.

The Funding Circle team

News

Record-breaking week! | Weekly Lending Review

Week 47: 16 – 20 November 2015

Last week, a record-breaking £15.6 million was lent to 196 businesses across the UK through the Funding Circle marketplace, thanks to your lending.

There are a wide variety of opportunities on the marketplace for you to lend to, including a property developer building 9 new homes in London and a website development company looking to expand.

Record value of new lending opportunities

There are currently 27 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £15,023,520 averaging at £79,675 per loan. The largest loan value was £400,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Loan parts available for you to buy:

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 dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 16-Nov represents the week of 16th – 20th November 2015.

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 2

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

News you should know

Improved loan comments view

We’ve improved the view for loan comments allowing you to show and hide recent information about your loans. Log back into your account to see them.

Loans defaulted last week

Property specialists. Loan 10463. Risk band D

This London business was established in 2006 and their loan has been defaulted to crystalise the liability of the guarantor.

Yarn manufacturer. Loan 4492. Risk band B

This Bradford business has been running since 2005 and has been placed in creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

Recruitment consultancy. Loan 6800. Risk band A

This Kent business was established in 2003 and is 3 months in arrears.

Water work management. Loan 2804. Risk band A+

This Birmingham business has been running since 1965 and has been placed into administration.

Online retailer. Loan 16507. Risk band A+

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

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read more about how our collections and recoveries process works on our blog.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

The new mobile app is coming!

We’ve been busy working on a new version of the investor mobile app for iOS 9 which we’re submitting to the app store in just a few weeks. Before it’s available for you to download, here’s a rundown of the things you need to know.

Why iOS?

As some of you may know, we launched a Funding Circle app for iOS in December 2013. iOS was the largest user group of the website, and this trend has continued. In October 2015, 25% of website traffic came through mobile, with 64% of this traffic coming from iOS devices compared to 31% from Android.

What’s new?

The code in the current (and soon to be old) version of the app made it difficult to build new features, so the team have re-built the app entirely. This will make it easier and faster for us to add new features going forward which the team plan to do on a regular basis.

For the first release, the functionality of the new app has not changed much from the current version, but you will notice:

app image

– a fresh, new design for the new larger screen resolutions

– improved user experience

– Touch ID and passcode enabled to make it easier to login

– updates for fixed rate changes to the marketplace

Who’s behind the app?

We now have a dedicated in-house mobile team: Rory, Edu, Emma and Dallas. We asked them a few questions about the new app:

Questions  for the team:

1) What’s your favourite thing about the new app?

Emma: I love the folding headers, where the images blur as you scroll up the screen.

Edu: I really like the way data has been exposed through the new version of the app. For example, on the summary page, it is great to be able to see how my funds are distributed across the three different stages: available, temporarily held on bids, or lent to a business.

Dallas: Knowing that there is a well-engineered structure inside which is based on solid architectural principles. Having the lower layers of the app made correctly helps all the animations built on top perform much better, and will be easier to maintain into the future.

Ben: The little things that have a story behind why they were chosen – like the effort the team spent debating and researching whether there should be five or six numbers in the passcode, or the way the business information cell has a set height that entices you to read on.

2) What was the most difficult part of the project?

Emma: Adding transparency to the bottom navigation bar was tough. It’s actually one of Apple’s default settings, but the other styling we added changed the default behaviour and we had to change multiple views to bring it back.

Edu: I think the most difficult part was planning at the start of the project. We sat in a room with white paper in front of us in order to define what could be improved and how we were going to do it. We started thinking of the different reasons someone would open the Funding Circle app, what they would be looking for, and how we were solving it on the first version of the app. There were several iterations of design and user testings which allowed us to progress from a user flow on paper to the final design and implementation. This has been a huge effort across several teams, and I truly believe it was worth it in order to offer the best experience possible to our users.

Dallas: Ensuring that we are focussing on developing the right features for the user, based on real evidence and user testing.

Rory: Having fixed rates on the marketplace is changing the behaviour of our users. Keeping up to date with what our investors want can be difficult. We will be keeping a close eye on how users interact with the new app and will work hard to roll out the new features you want much more regularly than we have done before.

Ben: I agree with Rory.  The most difficult part will be deciding what new features we should add next.

3) What would you like to develop in the next iterations?

Emma: I’d like to see us implementing autobid settings or a secondary market feature, as I feel that these are becoming more important parts of the investor experience.

Edu: We are going to continue to be really proactive in listening to feedback from our users and making changes according to their needs. There are other features that I would like to see introduced. For example, being able to subscribe to notifications whenever a loan request matching certain criteria is listed; bringing the secondary market into the app; and probably the most immediate one, updating the iPad app to the new version.

Dallas: Implement some of the new features Apple have included in iOS such as 3D touch for extra user actions, spotlight search, Apple watch app and/or contextual notifications. These would be features that would be interesting to work on but we would first need user testing/validation to ensure our users would actually find them useful.

Rory: iPad – so we can expand and iterate on top of our existing component library. Doing so will allow us in the future to roll out new features across the two platforms simultaneously.

Ben:  I’m really looking forward to finding new ways to provide the most important information for customers at the right time – maybe something that tells you what has changed in your account since you last looked at the app.

 

Stay tuned on the blog to find out when the new app will be released!

The Funding Circle team

Award-winning week and a look into a craft brewery in Hackney | Weekly Lending Review

Week 46: 9 – 13 November 2015

It was an exciting week at Funding Circle: we were named winners of 4 awards from Alt Fi, a record number of businesses came to the marketplace, and we met a recent Funding Circle borrower, Hackney Brewery.

Record value of new lending opportunities

There are currently 30 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £16,797,980 averaging at £75,066 per loan. The largest loan value was £450,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

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

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 9-Nov represents the week of 9th – 13th November 2015.

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 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 value

Did you lend to Hackney Brewery?

Hackney Brewery was established in 2011 to bring top-quality, locally-produced beer to the thirsty drinkers of London. To buy a new fermenter and increase production, business owners Jon Swain and Peter Hills borrowed £30,000 from 451 investors in May. Find out more about the brewery and see the craft beer being produced on the blog.

News you should know

Last week we were really pleased to have been named winners of 4 awards from Alt Fi:

  • P2P Business Platform of the Year 2015
  • Property Lending Platform of the Year 2015
  • AltFi Editors Award (Chosen by AltFi)
  • Best Clarity of Data Award 2015

Loans defaulted last week

Car parts supplier. Loan 3829. Risk band B

This Cornish business was established in 2002 and is being placed into administration.

Boiler specialist. Loan 8582. Risk band C

This Devon business has been running since 2011 and has become unresponsive.

Fancy dress shop. Loan 9109. Risk band B

This Dorset business was established in 2008 and is being placed in Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation.

Shellfish supplier. Loan 3603. Risk band B

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

Renewable energy company. Loan 3688. Risk band B

This Buckingham business was established in 2003 and is proposing a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read more about how our collections and recoveries process works on our blog.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

Peer-to-beer: how 451 investors are helping produce craft beer in Hackney

451 investors help produce craft beer

Hackney Brewery was established in 2011 to bring top-quality, locally-produced beer to the thirsty drinkers of London. At the time there were relatively few craft breweries in London, and when business owners Jon Swain and Peter Hills started their venture it was the first brewing company in Hackney since the mid-2000’s.

Jon and Peter have been Hackney locals for well over a decade and love it’s sense of community. Experienced home brewers, they set about creating a range of cask and bottled beers to satisfy a variety of tastes. With 15 years of experience working in pubs between them, they also had a pretty good idea of what makes a great beer.

The brewery produce a range of beers including a Golden Ale, an American Pale Ale and a New Zealand Pale Ale, with the odd guest beer from time to time.The majority of malts they use are from the UK (exceptionally good quality malts come from East Anglia and Scotland), and the hops are sourced from across the world depending on what type of beer is being produced (English hops are good for bitters and American hops for the American Pale Ale). The beers are sold to the East End, London and beyond.

The brewery, which is a London Living Wage employer, employs 8 members of staff including a Head Brewer and a part-time Marketing specialist. Pete explains “sustainability is important to us. It’s important to do things right.” This can be seen in all aspects of the business as they use 100% renewable energy in the brewhouse and even contribute what they can to local registered charities!

Hackney Brewery borrowed £30,000 from 451 investors in May 2015 to buy a new fermenter and increase production. In this picture story, Pete discusses his experience of Funding Circle and you can see the craft beer being produced:

Hackney Brewery investors

Hackney Brewery founded in 2011

Hackney Brewery hopps

Hackney Brewery micro brewing

Hackney top quality beer

Hackney cask and bottle beer

Hackney Brewery London

Hackney brewery bar

Hackney brewery business loan

Hackney thank you investors

Business loan

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We’ve helped thousands of businesses access finance for a range of needs. Check your eligibility online in just 30 seconds.

October round-up of the marketplace

October was a busy month at Funding Circle: we launched across Europe to help more businesses access finance, you helped 616 UK businesses borrow through the marketplace creating an estimated 1,800 jobs*, and it was the first month with fixed interest rates on all new loans.

charlie image

What are fixed rates?

Fixed rates are where Funding Circle sets the interest rate of a loan, based on a number of factors including the risk band and term of the loan. We wanted to improve the overall experience for our community by moving away from the auction model, to ensure that money is used efficiently, businesses have access to fast finance, and interest rates reflect the risk of a loan rather than liquidity. Now we’re one month in we wanted to share some further analysis into how the funding process has evolved from auctions, and provide more information about the marketplace today.

Money is used efficiently

Certainty of cost is important for business owners as it allows them to budget. Since moving to fixed rates, we can now provide an interest rate and repayment amount to a business before the funding process.

When a business applies for a loan and passes our credit assessment process, they can accept their loan as soon as it has fully funded. Before fixed rates were introduced, approximately 65% of borrowers would leave their auction running for the full 7 days to see whether the interest rate would fall. If you placed a bid at the start of an auction, it could take up to 2 weeks for your money to start earning interest. Now, just 20% of loans stay on the marketplace for the full listing period (typically 7 days).

Reducing the uncertainty of cost has resulted in businesses accepting their loans faster than before. By way of a comparison, the median time (from listing) for a loan to be accepted by a business has halved since introducing fixed rates, from approximately 8 days to 4 days currently, as of 5th November 2015. Committed funds are earning interest faster than before, and businesses are accessing finance faster.

Updates to Autobid

At the start of October loan requests funded very quickly and many of you fed back that it was difficult to research businesses before placing a bid. We have since made an update to how Autobid works and will continue to monitor the funding process.

How have fixed rates affected the secondary market?

The secondary market enables you to buy and sell loan parts with other investors, meaning you can build a diversified portfolio quickly.

Over the past month, liquidity on the secondary market has remained stable. The cohort graph below shows the proportion of loan parts sold which were listed for sale. Approximately 90% of loan parts listed with a discount have sold and 80% of those listed at par. Therefore if you’re looking to sell loan parts, those listed at par or a discount are more likely to be sold.

lps sold nov

Of the property loan parts listed for sale, a lower proportion of them have sold in comparison to business loan parts. This difference can be attributed to the cashback promotion we have been running on property loans. Comparing the lines on both graphs, discounted loan parts are selling for both business and property loans at a similar rate of 90%.

property LPs nov

Are you lending to 100+ businesses?

We also published the latest distribution of returns for Funding Circle investors, at different levels of diversification. You can view these on the statistics page. As of October 1st, 100% of investors who have been lending for at least 1 year and to at least 100 businesses, with no more than 1% lent to each one, are currently earning a positive return**. Read more about diversification and it’s benefits and remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Conclusion

We hope this has been a useful summary of how the marketplace has developed since introducing fixed rates. We continue to monitor how loans are funding, and may make small updates to the funding process over the coming months so ensure both investors and borrowers have the best experience possible.

We’re over on the forum talking about this, and we’d love for you to join us there.

The Funding Circle Team

 

*Independent research by Nesta, a government think-tank, found that businesses who receive a loan through Funding Circle employ on average 11 people, and see an average increase in employment of 27 per cent after receiving finance.

 

**The returns shown are based on all 33,616 investors who have been lending for at least 1 year (73.2% of all active investors) and have been at the stated level of diversification for at least 75% of the days they have been lending for. It includes all earnings and is calculated after fees and bad debt but before tax. Investment through Funding Circle involves lending to small and medium sized businesses so your investment can go down as well as up. This data is based off actual returns for people lending for at least 1 year and does not include future expected losses. Remember, past returns are not necessarily a guide to future returns.

 

Catch of the day: fishmonger Nic aims to be London’s best

Last month, we visited local fishmonger La Petite Poissonnerie and met business owners Nic and Zaya Rascle. The husband and wife team run a French and Japanese fusion fishmonger in London which aims to bring together the flair of French cooking and the unique ingenuity of Japanese cuisine. The produce changes daily but is always fresh.

Chef turned fishmonger Nic came to London when he was 20 to learn English, and found himself living behind a fishmonger’s where he offered occasional help. The catering college graduate became passionate about fish and opened his own shop in 2010 specialising in locally and sustainably sourced fresh fish, shellfish and smoked fish.

The couple now have two shops in London and also sell produce wholesale to restaurants. They compliment the fresh fish with a selection of French Epicerie and Wines, and a range of Japanese groceries.

La Petite Poissonnerie borrowed £30,000 through the marketplace in August 2015. The loan was funded by one larger investor, and in the short video below Funding Circle co-founder James Meekings discusses how a diverse range of investors, big and small, is important for the long term sustainability of the marketplace. You can hear more about this in this short video from our recent investor evening.

Click below to meet Nic and see him in action in this 90 second video.  

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More than 12,000 businesses in the UK have accessed finance from the marketplace, helping them with cashflow, refurbishment and much more. Check your eligibility online in just 30 seconds.

Digging into the data: how long does it take to receive recoveries?

Lending to businesses can deliver attractive returns to investors, while helping those businesses access the finance they need to grow. However, from time-to-time some businesses will be unable to repay their loans, which is why diversification is important. When this happens, the time it takes for recoveries to start reaching your account can vary but on average will take around 6 months.

What happens when a business falls behind with their repayments?

When it appears that a business is likely to miss a scheduled monthly repayment, we immediately contact them to understand their financial position and to see if we can help the business get back on track. We keep you updated on the borrower’s status by writing loan comments which are visible in your online account.

If you have any defaulted loans you may have noticed that we apply a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) rating system to help you assess the likelihood of recovery, and we update this RAG rating as we receive new information. Since we brought all of our collections and recoveries processes in-house in February 2014, we have made significant improvements in the number of loans late on their monthly repayments, and the recovery rate for investors.

In this blog we’ve set out some recent analysis in respect of the estimated recoveries and the period of time it takes to repay that money to you. These estimates:

  • are accurate as of 1 November 2015;  
  • are based on 3 months’ cash-flow on defaulted loans for the period August – October 2015, and extrapolated out for a maximum payment plan of 5 years;
  • do not include any interest payable (which we also seek to recover); and
  • give a 0p/£ recovery estimate to any defaulted loans that are in negotiation or in a court action (i.e. where there is no cash-flow). The estimates are on the conservative side, although we are currently collecting data so that all defaulted loans can have an estimated recovery rate at every stage post-default.

How long after a business defaults do I have to wait until I start seeing some recovery?

When a loan is defaulted, the business has usually failed. This is why most of the recoveries we see come through guarantors starting new businesses, realising assets or entering employment and providing us with a fair and affordable payment plan. Sometimes the guarantors will enter a formal insolvency procedure as a result of our enforcement action, action from another creditor or by themselves voluntarily. Unfortunately these options rarely give an immediate material recovery.  

Why is there a difference between actual and estimated recovery rates?

As you can see from the H1 2015 bars, it usually takes around 6 months before we have sufficient cash-flow to estimate a recovery over 5 years of just under 40p/£, and just over a year until the actual recoveries have reached 30p/£. We are still negotiating many of the defaults in 2015 H1, and we expect both the purple and blue bars in the graph below to increase.

Estimated and actual recovery rates by default date cohort

The estimated and actual recovery rate by when the loan was accepted

If we now look at recoveries on defaults by when the loans were accepted, we see that material recoveries of approximately 30p/£ can be expected within 3 years of the accepted date for those defaults, but for the same group the estimate over 5 years is nearer 40p/£. The reason for this is that there are less “new” defaults in older group of loans. New defaults dilute both the actual recovery rate and the estimated recovery rate, but have more impact on the actual recovery rate as there has been less time to build up recoveries.  

Recovery rates by origination cohort

As an aside, in February 2014 we received recovery on only 40% of all defaults.This figure has steadily climbed and reached a peak of 62-63% in April 2015, and has maintained this level since.

Where loans have defaulted, and we have made a recovery, approximately 80% are in payment plans (rather than insolvency procedures). On this basis we believe that defaulted loans that are originated in 2015 will ultimately recover nearer 45-50p/£.

How does the rate of material recovery change over time?

 

Proportion of defaulted loans for which a partial or whole recovery has been made
Conclusion

At Funding Circle we are committed to having the best collections and recoveries process in the industry. We are constantly looking to innovate and use technology to recover as much money as possible for investors, and further improve our communications with you. We always appreciate your feedback, so please feel free to send this to contactus@fundingcircle.com.

Record value of new lending opportunities | Weekly Lending Review

Week 45: 2 – 6 November 2015

We’ve been shortlisted at the Consumer Moneyfacts Awards 2016 for Peer-to-peer Provider of the Year, which helps the public make the most of their money by showcasing the very best products and providers available when looking at their personal finances.

Voting takes a couple of minutes and we’d really appreciate your vote.

Record value of new lending opportunities

There are currently 31 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £16,188,020 averaging at £73,496 per loan. The largest loan value was £450,000 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 your capital is at risk.

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 2-Nov represents the week of 2nd – 6th November 2015.

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

Amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 45 Loan parts

Loans defaulted last week

Care service. Loan 3661. Risk band C

This South Ayrshire business has been running since 2004 and ceased trading in August .

Farm. Loan 5826. Risk band D

This County Down business was established in 2014 and has ceased trading.  

Metal workshop. Loan 15188. Risk band C

This Herefordshire business has been running since 2009 and was placed into liquidation in  November.

Audio technology specialists. Loan 8277. Risk band A

This Berkshire business was established in 2009 and is commencing steps to be placed into liquidation.

Creative agency. Loan 4030. Risk band D

This Plymouth business has been running since 2009 and is proposing a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Online clothing retailer. Loan 1000. Risk band B

This Gloucestershire business was established in 2005 and has consistently failed to make its repayments.

Cycle shop. Loan 11303. Risk band D

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

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read more about how our collections and recoveries process works on our blog.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

Funding Circle launches in Europe. October industry news

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Funding Circle launches in Europe in bid to become ‘household name’

Last month we joined forces with Zencap, creating the first truly global marketplace lending platform. Our mission is to help millions of businesses across the world access finance from investors, and this is an exciting step to helping businesses across Europe access the finance they need to grow. The Continental European business in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands will operate separately from Funding Circle in the UK, so there will be no change to your lending experience. In time, we hope that you will be able to lend across borders to further diversify your investment. More coverage can be found in Financial Times, CNBC, City AM, Evening Standard, The Times, Reuters, Business Insider. Read the full story on our blog or you can join the conversation on our forum.

Is this Government bank behind the alternative finance boom?

The Government continues to promote marketplace lending to small businesses through the British Business Bank. The bank has lent £60 million through the Funding Circle platform since 2013, which has helped to raise awareness of the choice business owners now have when they are looking for finance. The role of the British Business Bank funding is to create a stable and diverse platform for our investors, and help more small businesses access finance across the UK.

MPC member highlights increased role of alternative lenders

Monetary Policy Committee member, Ian McCafferty, stated last month that since the financial crisis, there has been a rise in small and medium sized businesses turning to marketplace lending platforms for finance. Although still small in comparison to traditional bank lending, marketplace lending volumes are growing quickly and are becoming increasingly important in helping to close the ‘funding gap’.

Treasury sings praises of peer to peer lenders

MP Harriet Baldwin, speaking at LendIt Europe last month, branded marketplace lending a “brilliantly innovative new form of finance – which we want to see continue to grow and evolve.” The MP for West Worcestershire said she’s proud the UK has the largest alternative finance sector in Europe, and highlighted the introduction of a third ISA which will allow investors to hold lending through marketplaces, such as Funding Circle, within an ISA from 6th April 2016.

Cameron to announce affordable housing starter homes

Last month, at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, David Cameron launched a housing ‘crusade’ announcing the Government wishes to help build 200,000 new homes by 2020 to combat the UK’s housing shortage. Following the announcement, Head of Real Estate Finance at Funding Circle, Luke Jooste, stressed the importance of financing smaller property developers to meet the growing demand. Coverage also seen in Architects Journal and Property Wire.

Funding Circle investors hit £100m lending mark

The Funding Circle Property Team also announced that you have facilitated £100 million in property loans through the marketplace, helping established developers to build over 600 new homes across the country. You can read more about this property milestone in Mortgage Introducer and Best Advice.

News

How 634 investors are helping refurbish a Northampton hairdresser | Weekly Lending Review

Week 44: 26 – 30 October 2015

Lara Boot Hairdressing is a highly passionate and professional unisex hair salon based in a residential area of Northampton. Business owner Lara has been working in the industry for 22 years, and borrowed £35,000 through the Funding Circle marketplace to expand the salon and create a modern environment for her team and clients. In our latest picture story you can see how the renovation work is progressing.

New loans available to you

There are currently 32 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £13,050,120 averaging at £73,730 per loan. The largest loan value was £400,000 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 your capital is at risk.

Weekly marketplace trends

These graphs show the most recent activity on the marketplace. The dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 26-Oct represents the week of 26th – 30th October 2015.

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)

Yield WLR 44

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 44 Loan value

Total amount lent

WLR 44 Amount lent

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

WLR 44 loan parts

Do you have any technical questions for us?

Post your questions on the forum by 6th November, and our VP of engineering will answer them.

Loans defaulted last week

Pallet deliveries. Loan 1728. Risk band C

This Northumberland business was established in 1984 and has been placed in administration.

Printers. Loan 9676. Risk band A

This Greater Manchester business has been running since 2002 and has been placed into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

Convenience store. Loan 7889. Risk band D

This Surrey business was established in 2010 and the borrower has become unresponsive.

Online gift shop. Loan 7019. Risk band D

This Lincolnshire business has been running since 2011 and is being placed into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

Accommodation marketplace. Loan 11474. Risk band C

This London business was established in 2012 and ceased trading on 7 August 2015.

Chain of coffee shops. Loan 3693. Risk band B

This Shropshire business has been running since 1991 and the guarantor is in the process of declaring bankruptcy.

Recycling engineers. Loan 926. Risk band C

This Cheshire business was established in 2004 has continually failed to make its repayments on time.

Nursing home. Loan 4108. Risk band A

This Yorkshire business has been running since 1985 and the directors have commenced steps to place the company into liquidation.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read more about how our collections and recoveries process works on our blog.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

 

Picture story: Are you helping to refurbish a hairdresser in Northampton?

Lara Boot Hairdressing is a highly passionate and professional unisex hair salon based in a residential area of Northampton. Business owner Lara always wanted to be a hairdresser. She has been working in the industry for 22 years and believes the key to a successful business is investing in her 15 staff.

We asked Lara about fashion trends in hair and the most popular styles. ‘My favourite hairstyle would have to be a classic bob, as it suits a variety of face shapes. However, the requests in the salon change depending on what’s in fashion and the time of year, although recently the pixie crop (a la Frankie Sandford from The Saturdays) has been a popular choice.’

If you’re looking to add shine or for something slightly more bold and vibrant, Lara’s salon has the products, techniques and knowledge to help. They welcome 60 customers into the salon each day!

Lara Boot Hairdressing borrowed £35,000 from over 600 investors in March 2014 to expand the salon and create a modern environment for the team and their clients. She is part way through this process and the re-fit will be completed in mid November.

In this picture story below, Lara discusses her experience of Funding Circle and you can see how the renovation work in the salon is progressing:

Lara Boot cover

Lara Boot hairdresser outside

Lara Boot reputation

Lara Boot hairdressing industry

Lara Boot hairdresser clients staff

Lara Boot hairdressing training

Lara Boot hairdressing fashion

Lara Boot hairdressing refit salon

Lara Boot hairdressing thank you

Lara Boot Hairdressing apply

Do you need a business loan? We’ve helped more than 12,000 businesses in the UK and US access finance. You can check if you’re eligible for a business loan online in just 30 seconds.

We’ve launched in Europe! | Weekly Lending Review

Week 43: 19 – 23 October 2015

We’re excited to announce that Funding Circle has expanded into Germany, Spain and the Netherlands to help millions of businesses across Europe access finance. You can read about the news here or watch this short video.

We’re excited to help more businesses access finance, although due to regulatory differences in each country, lending for UK investors is currently restricted to UK businesses.

New loans available to you

There are currently 30 loan requests on the marketplace, and thousands of loan parts available for you to buy.

The total value of new loans listed on the Funding Circle marketplace was £11,709,360 averaging at £73,656 per loan. The largest loan value was £460,000 and the smallest loan value was £5,000.

Business loans available to bid on:

Loan parts available for you to buy:

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 dates on the graph should be read as ‘week beginning’, for example: 19-Oct represents the week of 19th – 23rd October 2015.

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)

Yield WLR 43

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

Number of listed loans per week

Loans listed WLR 43
Listed loan value per week

Loan value WLR 43

Total amount lent

Amount lent WLR 43

Loan parts available to buy from other investors

Loan parts WLR 43

News you should know

Updates to how Autobid works

Over the coming weeks we will make a change to how Autobid works, helping to provide more time for those who want to research a business before placing a bid. No action is needed if you are a current Autobid user.

Going forward, Autobid will fund up to 50% of the available loan after a loan is listed, and if the loan does not reach 100% within the first 2 days the Autobid cap will be removed completely.

Things we’re talking about

We’re on-hand to talk about the move to fixed rates on the forum. You can join the conversation here.

Loans defaulted last week

Ground source heating supplier. Loan 5535. Risk band C

This Stafford business has been running since 2007 and is likely to enter a formal insolvency process in the coming weeks.

Aerospace specialists. Loan 10159. Risk band A

This Monmouthshire business was established in 2006 and has ceased trading.

Engineering consultancy. Loan 4478. Risk band A+

This Cumbria business has been running since 2004 and is consulting a debt charity.

Project management company. Loan 11517. Risk band C

This Country Durham business was established in 2003 and has been unable to make repayments since June.

Legal practice. Loan 5940.  Risk band A

This Devon business has been running since 2009 and has been unable to repay the agreed three-month payment plan.

Our collections and recoveries team are working to recover the outstanding amounts for all of these loans and they will provide you with updates in the loan comments section on your summary page. Read more about how our collections and recoveries process works on our blog.

Enjoy lending, The Funding Circle Team

Tips for positioning your company for successful expansion (part two)

There’s no doubt that UK small businesses are driving economic growth. Research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that although high-growth small businesses represent just 1% of UK businesses and only 3.4% of the total UK economy, they generated 36% of UK economic growth in 2014 and created two in three new jobs (68%) between 2012 and 2013. The key, however, is in making sure your company’s growth is sustainable.

In this 2-part series we’ve been looking at 6 steps to ensure you have the infrastructure in place to expand effectively and sustainably. The first 3 steps outlined in our previous post were to articulate your brand and proposition, define your universe of new prospects and get a customer database. The final 3 steps are outlined below:

Generate awareness of your company and your offering

The biggest problem small businesses have when expanding is that no one in the new market knows you. LinkedIn conducted research on the sales cycle and found that just 2% of sales are made on the first contact with a company, whereas 80% of sales are made by the 12th contact. This shows that there are a myriad of different touch points within the purchasing process, and you need to be there at as many as possible.

Those touch points could be reading a story about you in a trade magazine, reading a white paper from your website, or seeing a post on an industry LinkedIn group. All this activity helps position your company as an authority, which psychology research has found to be a key influence on human behaviour (and therefore purchasing decisions).

Once there is awareness in the market, lead generation activity becomes easier and more cost effective.

Put cost-effective lead generation activity in place

Once you’ve defined your universe, you’ll be able to determine the most effective lead generation channels for the different people involved in the decision making process. Do purchasing managers search for suppliers on Google? If so, you need to make sure you’re on the first page of search results. The number one position in Google’s search results receives 18.2% of all click-through traffic. The second position receives 10.1%, the third 7.2%, the fourth 4.8% and all others are under 2%.

Do key managers spend lots of time away from their desk? In that case, email marketing may be more effective than direct mail or telesales.

The key is to think about all of the potential touch points and cover as many of them as possible, always measuring your activity so you can refine your approach and dedicate your resource to what is most effective.

Love your customers to death

The classic 80/20 rule says that 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from 20% of its existing customers. It is particularly important to nurture your existing customers when undertaking expansion, because you don’t want to expand at the expense of retention.

You need to make sure you have the infrastructure – be it distribution, customer service, logistics, production – to serve the customers your sales team converts. And then you need to keep them engaged so that they buy from you again.

From streamlining the quotation, ordering and deliver paperwork through to service level agreements on queries and regular customer newsletters, you need to take every opportunity to show customers you value their business and want to be a long-term partner.

Taking the time to make sure you have the right fundamentals in place will ensure you are targeting the right prospects, appealing to your current customers, using the most cost effective lead generation channels and are ultimately on the right route to achieving sustained growth that will stand the test of time.

We hope this 2-part series has been helpful in positioning your business for expansion. Let us know what you want to find out in our next business tips post in the comments section below.

By Tim Witcherley, Cognition Agency

You read more marketing tips by downloading any of Cognition’s free eguides.

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

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