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Funding Circle US Originated $800M in 2020, More than 90% of Borrowers Were Making Payments

March 26, 2021
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Funding CircleFunding Circle US revealed originations of £581M in 2020, equivalent to about $800M at current exchange rates. More than 90% of the company’s American borrowers were making full regular payments on their loans, Funding Circle reported. Approximately 7% were on a “payment holiday” at year-end or were not paying.

Funding Circle’s US loans generate low annual returns, its highest being a projected return of 4.1% to 4.9% for its 2016 cohort. Its 2020 cohort is projected to generate an annual return of between 1 – 3%.

Overall, Funding Circle reported a total net loss of £108.1M (approx $150M US) on just £103.7M in revenue, a massive loss that stemmed entirely from the first half of the year, attributed mostly to a write-down in “fair value.”

Funding Circle’s primary market is the UK. When comparing the market with the US, the company said that the US is in an earlier stage of development even though the market is 5x larger.

The full report can be viewed here.

Funding Circle US Lays Off 120 Employees

July 9, 2020
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Funding Circle US laid off 120 employees yesterday, according to a post shared by Ryan Metcalf, Head of U.S. Regulatory Affairs and Social Impact.

Reuters reported that the company will also centralize its technology development in the UK rather than have a separate US team going forward.

The US operation had largely been focusing on PPP lending and SBA 7(a) loans since the shutdowns occurred.

The announcement coincided with its UK business being approved to participate in the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Funding Circle UK Referring Some Large Loan Applicants to Competitors

November 11, 2019
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Funding Circle UK has begun to refer applicants seeking an amount above their maximum loan size limit of £500,000 to Iwoca, MarketInvoice and French bank BNP Paribas, The Sunday Times reported. Previously, Funding Circle would just turn them away.

Funding Circle Originated $377M of US Loans in First Two Quarters of 2019

August 8, 2019
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Funding Circle originated $377M of loans in the US in the first six months of 2019, according to their latest public report. The company said that “growth was proactively controlled” and that they tightened higher risk band lending and increased prices. They’ve now loaned more than $2B cumulatively in the US since inception and their growth is being led by “new borrowers” that are being lured away from traditional lenders.

Funding Circle still lags behind PayPal, OnDeck, Kabbage, Square Capital, and Amazon in the US in loan origination volume, according to the deBanked small business finance rankings. Its closest competitors by volume are BlueVine, National Funding, and Kapitus.

Funding Circle Co-Founder & Managing Director James Meekings to Step Down

August 8, 2019
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funding circle co-founder james meekingsFunding Circle’s lackluster business performance has led to a casualty. Co-founder James Meekings, who serves as Managing Director of the UK Business (the company’s primary market), will be transitioning to a non-executive role on the UK board in Q3. He will no longer be MD, the company announced.

Lisa Jacobs, Funding Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer, will take over leadership of the UK business, the company subsequently disclosed.

Funding Circle went public less than 1 year ago on the London Stock Exchange. Since then the share price has plummeted by 75%.

The company has been busy trying to correct course through various maneuvers, one of which has been to cut CEO Samir Desai’s annual compensation.

Funding Circle SME Income Fund to Consider Winding Down

April 6, 2019
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The Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF), a fund whose objective is to provide shareholders with a sustainable and attractive level of dividend income by lending, both directly and indirectly, to small businesses through Funding Circle’s platform, may soon be winding down. Earlier this week, the fund’s major shareholders expressed a desire to withdraw their capital and a vote will be scheduled to put this plan in motion.

The decision is not a surprise. The fund suffered a sharp decline in Net Asset Value late last year in part due to increasing business loan defaults.

Funding Circle Holdings (FCH), which trades on the London Stock Exchange, announced that a windup of FCIF would not affect the overall company’s 2019 guidance.

FCH CEO Samir Desai said of the news, “A global income fund providing access to a diversified portfolio of Funding Circle small business loans was the right strategy for investors and Funding Circle in 2015. However, there are now more appropriate and varied ways for investors to participate on the platform. We’re pleased to soon introduce two new investor products to the UK market. They will further expand the universe of investors that can access loans on our platform and continue to diversify our sources of funding, in line with the strategy we set out at IPO.”

Funding Circle Partners with Stripe

January 23, 2019
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Bernardo MartinezFunding Circle announced this morning that it has joined the Stripe Partner Program, which will allow the company to provide financing to Stripe customers in the United States. Funding Circle is a small business loan funder that offers fully amortizing small business term loans. Their loans range from $25,000 to $500,000 and have terms between six months and five years.

“We’re excited to work with Stripe to connect even more business owners with the affordable capital they need to go further,” said Bernardo Martinez, U.S. Managing Director of Funding Circle. “Funding Circle and Stripe are both dedicated to helping companies scale their businesses in the digital age, ultimately creating jobs, opportunities, and driving growth in the broader economy.”

This is Funding Circle’s first integration partnership with a payments platform in the U.S. With the partnership, Funding Circle gets access to Stripe’s small business owners, but Stripe also wins by providing more services to its customers.

“We are enabling Stripe customers to finance their growth and the end result is that, as these companies grow, [Stripe] has a higher number of payments go through their system,” said Martinez.

No money will exchange hands between Funding Circle and Stripe, Martinez said. While this partnership will start with Stripe’s U.S. small business customers, Martinez said that Funding Circle is excited about the opportunity to scale with Stripe, which serves customers internationally.

Funding Circle is not the only small business lender that has partnered with Stripe. Another company called Bitbond, based in Berlin, is listed on the company’s Stripe Partner Program.

Founded 2010, Funding Circle is headquartered in London and has lent $8.6 billion to 62,000 businesses globally. Listed on the London Stock Exchange as FCH, the company employs about 1,000 people and has offices in San Francisco and Denver.

Funding Circle Stays Global; Goes Public in London

September 29, 2018
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London Stock ExchangeFunding Circle became a public company yesterday on the London Stock Exchange, listed as FCH. Founded in 2010, the peer-to-peer lending platform for small and medium-sized businesses, was initially priced at 440 pence (£4.40), which was on the low end of the 420-530 pence per share price range. But it opened at 460 pence, placing the value of the tech company at roughly £1.5 billion, or $2 billion, according to a Reuters report. In conjunction with the company’s IPO, it raised approximately £300. 

The stock price dropped below the initial 440 pence per share on Friday to 435 pence, but went back up by the end of the day. The company was founded by Samir Desai, James Meekings and Andrew Mullinger, who all met at a pub in Oxford, England, according to a University of Oxford publication. Desai and Meekings were both studying Economics and Management at the university.  

Among the company’s investors are Union Square Ventures, Blackrock and Index Ventures, in addition to a £150 million investment from Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen.

According to the company’s September 2018 prospectus, Funding Circle’s total revenue has steadily increased over the past few years with $32 million in revenue in 2015 and $50.9 million and $94.5 million in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The company has facilitated £5 billion in loans its inception in 2010.

In August, Funding Circle rebranded with a new logo, and in June, the company expanded its partnership with Kansas-based INTRUST Bank, strengthening it presence in the U.S. market.  Funding Circle offers small business financing from $25,000 to $500,000 with repayment options up to 5 years. While headquartered in the UK, the company also services customers the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands. Its headquarters is in London and it also has an office in San Francisco.

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