Raising Finance

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UK firm providing loans in exchange for wine, art and gold raises $19.5m

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The British loan company provides individuals, business owners and SMEs with capital in exchange for high-value assets including fine art, antiques, jewellery, wine and classic cars, which are used as collateral.

Existing investors Canaan Partners, Eden Ventures and Augmentum Capital also took part in the round, which will be used to power the alternative finance provider’s rapid growth across the US and UK.

Paul Aitken, founder and CEO of Borro, said: “This funding will enable us to accelerate our growth in our core US and UK businesses. We will continue to grow through our already successful partnership channels as well as our expansion into new product areas.”

Borro claims to have supported almost $200m worth of luxury asset-based loans since launching in the UK in 2009 and Stateside – it has offices in New York and Los Angeles – in 2012. The company generally offers loans between $5,000 and $2m and launched to support people and businesses when lending opportunities were scarce.

Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd, said: “In less than two years, OurCrowd went from participating in early seed rounds, to now leading a $19.5 million funding round together with global venture capital firms such as Canaan and renowned internet company, Rocket Internet.

“Working with Borro marks the single largest equity crowdfunding round ever completed and demonstrates how equity crowdfunding can complement traditional funding sources. We are thrilled to be investing in quality companies like Borro that are redefining the fintech industry.”

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Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet, added: “Financial technology is one of the most attractive and fastest growing online sectors and continues to be a key focus sector for Rocket Internet. 

“The financial services sector is ready for major disruption by innovative online companies. Borro is clearly one of them and with our investment we underline our belief in the company’s highly promising development and expansion potential.”

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