LendingCrowd and Scottish Enterprise talk SME lending

Stuart Lunn, co-founder and chief executive of Edinburgh-based LendingCrowd. Picture: Contributed

Stuart Lunn, co-founder and chief executive of Edinburgh-based LendingCrowd. Picture: Contributed

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Alternative finance provider LendingCrowd is teaming up with Scottish Enterprise in an effort to raise awareness of “peer-to-peer” (P2P) business lending.

The pair are due to discuss developments in the P2P lending market at an event next week hosted by legal firm Burness Paull at its offices on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road.

The breakfast briefing on Thursday, dubbed “Thinking Outside the Bank”, will bring together small business owners, advisers and brokers to hear from LendingCrowd chief executive and co-founder Stuart Lunn and Derek Shaw, investment director at the Scottish Investment Bank.

Scottish Enterprise, through the Scottish Investment Bank, last month invested £2.75 million on LendingCrowd’s platform in a bid to boost alternative routes of funding for SMEs who are overly reliant on high street banks. The initiative is expected to stimulate loans of up to £35m for SMEs based in Scotland.

READ MORE: SME boost as LendingCrowd lands seven-figure funding deal

Lunn, a former City analyst, said: “As Scotland’s only P2P lender to SMEs and with the recent support of Scottish Enterprise, we are in a position to lend much quicker finance to business owners than ever before – a situation which is particularly pertinent given the issues many businesses have when trying to access the financing necessary to fund their expansion in the UK and internationally.”

Since launching in 2014, LendingCrowd has facilitated loans totalling more than £7m, with more than 2,000 investors signed up to its platform. Last year Diet Chef, the Edinburgh-based diet food home delivery specialist, used the platform to secure £1.5m in debt finance – said to be one of the biggest ever P2P business funding deals.

Earlier this month, LendingCrowd received full authorition from the Financial Conduct Authority, making it the UK’s second P2P platform and first lender aimed at SMEs to move from interim to full authorisation status with the City watchdog.

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