Funding Circle Appoints Bankers Ahead of Possible Float

    By Diliff (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

    According to reports, Funding Circle, a British unicorn, has appointed some bankers to head an initial public offering (IPO) which will potentially value the company at more than £1.5bn.

    According to Bloomberg News, the peer-to-peer lending platform has appointed Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Numis Securities, which has its headquarters in London, to serve as brokers for the said deal.

    Reportedly, the company will aim for a valuation that ranges between £1.5bn and £2bn in a float which could likely happen in the second half of the year.

    Funding Circle presents a platform for smaller lenders to small business borrowers, with more than £4bn in loans that provided so far to businesses in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands. 42,000 companies have already borrowed money via its platform, with the bulk in the United Kingdom.

    The company has grown from the £50,000 that it has lent out in its first month to over $200m (£144m) every month. Last December, the firm passed the $5bn lending mark.

    In May, the company gained authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority to start an Innovative Finance Isa, which enables investors to earn tax-free income on peer-to-peer lending activities.

    Current equity investors include Accel Partners, the blue-chip tech investor, and investment giants BlackRock and Baillie Gifford. Singaporean state-backed Temasek is also one of its backers, along with Union Square Ventures, a tech venture capital firm.

    Funding Circle has raised equity capital amounting to approximately $250m since 2010, including a £82m fundraising round in January 2017 which was considered to the fifth biggest tech venture capital deal in the United Kingdom during the year.

    It is part of the booming fintech scene in the United Kingdom which raised a combined total amounting to £2.5bn in 2017.