Skype founder invests £17 million in LendInvest

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Christian Faes & Ian Thomas - LendInvest - March2016LendInvest, the leading UK short-term mortgage lender, has completed a £17 million ($25 million) equity investment from Atomico, the venture capital firm founded by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype.

This is LendInvest’s second equity investment in nine months. In June 2015, LendInvest secured a £22 million ($33 million) investment from Beijing Kunlun, the listed Chinese technology company. The round takes LendInvest’s total institutional funding (debt and equity) to over £200 million ($285 million).

LendInvest was launched in 2013 by founders Christian Faes and Ian Thomas, and has lent £560 million to finance over 2,100 properties in the UK. Faes and Thomas were the first to bring the speed and efficiency of online marketplace (or ‘peer-to-peer’) lending to the UK mortgage market.

Today LendInvest’s technology allows it to provide loans to borrowers, on average, in less than two weeks – from first contact, to loan drawdown. LendInvest is the fastest mortgage lender in the country, and is aiming to reduce this turnaround time further, to only a matter of days.

LendInvest will use this funding to accelerate its investment in technology and move into the more mainstream Buy-To-Let mortgage market, whilst consolidating its position as one of the leading bridging lenders in the UK.

Christian Faes, Co-Founder & CEO of LendInvest commented:

“To receive this backing from Atomico is an awesome opportunity for LendInvest. Atomico is a rare example of a VC firm whose founder has first-hand experience of building a multi-billion dollar, fast growth technology company, and that was hugely attractive to us. We have only scratched the surface of how technology will make mortgages a better, faster and more transparent consumer experience for borrowers and investors.”

Mattias Ljungman, Partner at Atomico, added:

“London is a global leader in fintech, raising almost $1 billion in VC funding in 2015 alone. LendInvest is a great example of what can be achieved through fintech technology, opening up the world of lending and mortgages to a new generation of tech savvy consumers.