LendingCrowd, SIB and NIBC partner to fund SMEs

RNS Number : 6147Z
21 May 2019





LendingCrowd creates transformational deal to partner with Scottish Investment Bank and NIBC to fund SME growth


·    LendingCrowd brings together public and private finance to raise £18.75m to fund businesses across Scotland and the UK



Edinburgh, 21 May 2019: LendingCrowd, Scotland's only fintech lending platform, has brought together the government-backed Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) - the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise - and Dutch entrepreneurial bank NIBC to form a unique funding deal to provide small and medium-sized businesses with the finances they need to grow.


NIBC and SIB have agreed to lend a combined £18.75 million across LendingCrowd's platform, with NIBC providing the senior debt for the deal with additional funding from SIB facilitating the overall debt package. This is the second lending deal that the platform has agreed with SIB, the first being the £2.75 million commitment it made in October 2016.


The funding will be made available as business loans to SMEs across Scotland and the rest of Britain, with LendingCrowd fulfilling the increasing demand for small business finance. LendingCrowd will be marketing these funds to British businesses, assessing applications and distributing the finance via its leading edge proprietary online platform, which can provide SMEs with a decision in the same day and access to the funds within 10 days. Businesses from Dundee to Dorset have benefitted from loans of up to £500,000.


This new investment comes after LendingCrowd was selected this year by government-backed Tech Nation for its Upscale 4.0 programme for high-growth UK tech companies. 


LendingCrowd provides funding to almost all sectors, and a few of the companies to have benefitted from the platform's loans include Summerhall Distillery, producer of Pickering's Gin, Tag Games and Umega Lettings.


Stuart Lunn, founder and CEO of LendingCrowd, commented: "We've had a record number of requests for funding from British businesses so far this year, showing that the appetite for alternative sources of finance to fund their ambitions only seems to be getting stronger.  


"We are delighted that the Scottish Investment Bank has followed up its first foray into the alternative investment market with this further commitment, and that we have been joined by NIBC, which sees the potential of LendingCrowd and our proven ability to distribute its considerable funding to UK businesses. Going through the due diligence on a deal like this has really shown the strength of our team in building an institutional class lending business.


"There are many small businesses crying out for finance and the funding from SIB and NIBC, coupled with our strong retail investor base, will allow LendingCrowd to help even more companies fulfil their ambitions."


Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: "We are delighted to provide the loan funding to LendingCrowd, Scotland's marketplace lender, in order to support the substantial funding from NIBC, thereby continuing our efforts to stimulate the Scottish market for alternative and innovative forms of finance.  Having worked with LendingCrowd since 2016, we are delighted they have successfully grown their alternative funding operations to attract significant international funding, increasing and broadening the supply of capital to our SMEs - a great example of SIB's wide and varied role in enhancing Scotland's access to finance."


Nils Schaffner, Head of FinTech and Structured Finance UK, NIBC Bank, added: "NIBC Bank has partnered with Fintech companies across our core geographies, including Iwoca, Ebury, and OakNorth in the UK, and we are delighted to support LendingCrowd in their growth ambition. We look forward to working together and seeing LendingCrowd continuing to make a real impact for SMEs seeking funding to realise their goals."




For further information about LendingCrowd, please contact:

Iain Gibson, Charlotte Street Partners

+ 44 7984 494587

[email protected] 


For further information about NIBC - please contact: [email protected] 


For further information about Scottish Enterprise or Scottish Investment Bank - please contact: [email protected] 


About LendingCrowd

Founded in 2014 and based in Edinburgh, LendingCrowd matches investors looking for a greater return with small businesses seeking finance to grow. LendingCrowd has facilitated over 660 loans to SMEs across the UK, totalling more than £57 million. Of this total, over 140 loans with a value of in excess of £14.1 million have been provided to businesses in Scotland. LendingCrowd provides loans up to £500,000 and is one of the few fintech business lenders to assess applications based on affordability. The company was one of the first fintech lenders to receive full FCA authorisation in 2016 and launched its first Growth ISA in 2017. To date, over 7,000 investors have signed up to the platform and provide funding alongside Scottish Enterprise and NIBC. LendingCrowd is backed by Scottish angel syndicate Equity Gap, the Scottish Investment Bank (the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise) and a number of prominent investors from Scotland and the UK's finance and entrepreneurial scene. In October 2018, LendingCrowd announced the appointment of new Chairman Sir Sandy Crombie, the former CEO of Standard Life and Senior Independent Director at Royal Bank of Scotland. LendingCrowd is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


About NIBC

NIBC is best suited to help entrepreneurs at their decisive moments. Now and in the future. As a bank for entrepreneurs, we are committed to cultivating our 'THINK YES' mentality by being flexible and agile and by matching our clients' can-do attitude. We support our corporate clients in building their businesses. For our retail clients in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium we offer mortgages, online savings and brokerage products that are accessible, easy to understand and fairly prices. Operating in the Netherlands (The Hague and Amsterdam), Germany and UK, our corporate clients business (mainly mid-market) offers advice and debt, mezzanine and equity financing solutions to entrepreneurs across select sectors and sub-sectors in which we have strong expertise and market positions. The midmarket is dynamic by nature and requires a bank that can respond quickly and in a highly flexible way. Our aim is to meet the market's requirements at decisive moments such as mergers and acquisitions, management buy-outs, investments and strategic financings and re-financings. You can read more about NIBC on www.nibc.com.


About SIB

TheScottish Investment Bank(SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland's national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). SIB's activities support Scotland's SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital and loan funding.  


SIB manages a suite of co-investment funds including theScottish Co-investment Fund, theScottish Venture Fund and theEnergy Investment Fundon behalf of the Scottish Government. SIB is also an investor inEpidarexCapital's Life Sciences Fund and is a participant in theScottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programmewith funding secured from the Scottish Government's Scottish Growth Scheme alongside the European Investment Fund.  


SIB  also provides funding intoLendingCrowd, Scotland's marketplace lender providing loans to SMEs, andMaven's UK Regional Buy Out Fund (MBO)that offers financial support for management buyouts (MBOs) and helps existing management teams acquire their businesses from their owners so they can continue to flourish. SIB's team offinancial readiness specialists help companies to prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance. 

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