LendingCrowd and banks in £19m deal to boost SMEs

LendingCrowd CEO Stuart Lunn (left) and chairman Sandy Crombie

Scottish fintech lending platform LendingCrowd said on Tuesday it brought together the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) – the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise – and Dutch entrepreneurial bank NIBC to form a funding deal to provide small and medium-sized businesses with finance 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 and 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 a £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.

Stuart Lunn, founder and CEO of LendingCrowd, said: “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.”