Edinburgh fintech LendingCrowd pledges £100 million to recovering SMEs

LendingCrowd, the Edinburgh-based fintech lending platform, is offering a £100 million boost to support small businesses’ recovery from the pandemic.

The firm has closed a funding deal with Barclays Bank and a major global investment firm to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Britain.

The funding will be delivered via the British Business Bank’s Recovery Loan Scheme, for which LendingCrowd has now been accredited as a lender, and also through its popular term lending product.

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Stuart Lunn, founder and chief executive of LendingCrowd, said: “It is hard to imagine a more difficult business environment than the past 18 to 24 months, which has seen many small and medium-sized businesses severely limited in how much they can trade, and trying to operate under rapidly changing restrictions, through no fault of their own.

CEO Stuart Lunn with Sir Sandy Crombie, chairman of LendingCrowd.CEO Stuart Lunn with Sir Sandy Crombie, chairman of LendingCrowd.
CEO Stuart Lunn with Sir Sandy Crombie, chairman of LendingCrowd.

“Many of these SMEs are good, solid businesses that desperately need some extra support. However, there remains a significant unmet demand for business lending, particularly in the £250,000 to £500,000 space. It is crucial for businesses, and for our wider economic recovery, that this demand is properly served.

“We have invested in our tech-enabled lending platform and, together with our funding partners, we will offer businesses automated checks, faster decisions and competitive rates for small business loans.”

He added: “The next few years will require a real collective effort to get our economy back on track - at LendingCrowd, we are determined to play our part.”

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) is designed to support access to finance for UK businesses as they recover and grow following the pandemic.

Funds from the scheme can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including managing cashflow, growth and investment.

LendingCrowd said it has now started to deploy the funding to SMEs across the UK. The fintech firm will provide RLS loans up to £500,000 over a three, four or five-year term.

The new funding agreement represents the biggest capital markets deal in the capital firm’s eight-year history, with operations expanding and headcount growing by a third to manage the provision of this funding to the “SMEs that need it most”.

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