Funding Circle signals intent to move into property finance

By Bridging Loan Directory -

 

Funding Circle, the pioneering online marketplace for business loans, today signals its intent to move into the property finance space, with the hire of Luke Jooste, formerly Commercial Director at Barclays Business.

Launched in August 2010, Funding Circle enables businesses to access finance independent of their banks, whilst at the same time allowing British people to earn attractive, stable returns for the long-term.

To date, more than £170 million of loans have been lent to over 3,000 small businesses across the UK, with over £100 million lent in 2013 so far. The UK Government, councils and universities have also signed up to lend money to businesses through the platform.

Luke brings fifteen years of experience in property finance, and will be pivotal in looking at Funding Circle’s offer in this space.

Prior to joining Funding Circle, Luke oversaw the commercial performance of Barclays Business as their Commercial Director, of which property is a major asset component. Luke also held positions as UK Head of Real Estate Finance at Barclays Business and Associate Credit Director (real estate) at Barclays Corporate.

Before his move to London in 2008, Luke worked in mortgage loans at First National Bank and as Head of Risk at the Bank of China, both in South Africa. He also has an MBA (UK) and Diploma in Corporate Finance from the University of London.

Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle said:

“Given the pent up demand, particularly by small and medium sized developers, we think there is a real opportunity in the market and plan to be a significant player going forward.”

Luke Jooste, Head of Real Estate Finance at Funding Circle said:

“As a peer-to-peer lender, Funding Circle doesn’t have the legacy in real estate finance that the banks do. I believe this gives us a real advantage and look forward to enhancing lending opportunities for UK investors.”

This follows the recent news that Funding Circle raised $37million last month and launched in the US. Accel Partners led the series C investment and new investor Ribbit Capital joined early backers, Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures. In total Funding Circle has now raised $58 million in equity funding to fuel future growth.

Through Funding Circle, businesses typically access the capital they need in seven days compared to 15 – 20 weeks with a bank. Independent research has found that three in four businesses would come to Funding Circle first in future, ahead of a bank.