Raising Finance

London firm Funding Circle raises $150m in one of biggest VC deals in UK history

3 min read

22 April 2015

Former deputy editor

Funding Circle, a London-based P2P business lending firm, has secured a $150m (£100m) investment to mark one of the biggest venture capital deals in British history.

The company hit the £500m lending milestone in February, supporting 7,000 businesses with an alternative form of finance beyond the traditional route of banks, which have received increasingly bad press for being unsupportive of small businesses.

Funding Circle has now lent more than $1bn to 8,000 SMEs in the UK and US, while 39,000 investors across Britain are signed up to the service.

It follows on from London fintech firm TransferWise securing a $58m Series C from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in January, while Shazam picked up $30m and a $1bn valuation in the same month.

DST Global led Funding Circle’s round alongside other new investors including Baillie Gifford, Sands Capital Ventures and Temasek. The London firm will use the round to fuel further growth in the UK and US, which are set to see $1bn lent to small businesses over the next year.

Growth by Funding Circle has been accelerated by using venture capital – lending in the US in Q1 2015 was up sevenfold on Q1 2014.

Further power will be added at the top to support the business’ expansion with new hires. Betfair CEO and CTO David Yu, who grew the betting firm’s revenues past $600m with new products, has joined Funding Circle as global CPO. 

Meanwhile, Salesforce COO Chitra Nayak will stay in the same role for the US operation, using her experience of developing sales from $350m to $2bn with her previous employer.

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Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle, said: “We believe Funding Circle is the future of small business finance globally, and it’s a vision we share with some of the largest and most respected investors in the world. 

“Today’s news is the next step on our journey to creating a sustainable, category-defining business in a multi-billion dollar global market, where businesses will come to the marketplace to borrow from all types of investors. This investment, alongside prudent risk management, will ensure Funding Circle’s long term future.”

Funding Circle has secured a total of $273m in equity funding, with the latest round following a $65m Series D in July 2014.