Zopa meets Rob Hailstone, borrower of the billionth pound

Peer-to-business Loans

Rob Hailstone, a legal expert and business-owner from Chudleigh in Devon, became the borrower of the billionth pound advanced through Zopa’s peer-to-peer lending platform.

The landmark was reached on 18 August after just over 10 years in business. For Rob, though, the loan containing the billionth pound was his first experience of borrowing through Zopa, or any other P2P lender for that matter.

Becoming the billionth-pound borrower

“I was looking to consolidate some of my existing debts and my financial adviser rang up three or four weeks ago and suggested looking at Zopa,” says Rob, 57. “In fact I had ne...

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Zopa Meets 'Create my Case' Owner - Daniel

Peer-to-business Loans

At Zopa we don't just help out everyday consumers with personal loans we also help some of the 3.5 million sole traders in the UK to get a better deal on a business loan.

We understand how important access to finance can be in growing a business as well as the speed in which you get a loan approved and how quickly funds appear in your account.

Business loan reasons are as varied as the businesses that we lend to. These can range from a new car/van, funds to renovate an existing business, new tools/equipment or even a set of new phone case printers like Create My Case bought with their Zopa loan.

Business owner Daniel took a sole trader busine...

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ESF Capital Acquires Controlling Stake in ThinCats

Peer-to-business Loans

The M&A “hokey cokey” – as David Stevenson recently termed it – has well and truly begun.

ESF Capital has acquired a 73.4% equity stake in secured business lending platform ThinCats. ESF Capital was spun out of ESO Capital, a European specialist investment firm which was founded in 2006. In February, ESO committed to deploying £20-£50 million through the ThinCats platform. ESF Capital invests in and underwrites loans on a select crop of European peer-to-peer lending platforms. The vehicle is also focused on taking minority and majority equity stakes in peer-to-peer platforms that target the European SME space. In con...

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Crowd2Fund Investors to Benefit from Crowdfunding Coin

Peer-to-business Loans

Crowd2Fund has never been a stranger when launching new products and last week the platform introduced the first ever crowdfunding coin into the sector.

The ‘Smart Money’ coin will be exclusive to Crowd2Fund’s investor club and will initially be similar to that of a loyalty scheme where individuals who have invested a significant amount on the platform will benefit. Members will be rewarded with special offers and gifts from businesses that have been funded via the platform.

The long-term aim is for Crowd2Fund investors to link their Crowd2Fund account to the coin so that funds can be spent directly fro...

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Folk2Folk Help Fund Pub Conversion

Peer-to-business Loans

In 2009, I, together with my husband Robert and daughter Robyn, bought a pub which I had previously owned with my husband and sister in law and brother in law and sold in 2001. Since then it had had two other owners and the whole pub business had completely changed. When we first ran it, people could still smoke inside and most of our profits came from the drinking trade which was phenomenal.

The drinking trade is no longer viable as a business model on its own. The “pub” business is now as much about the food and accommodation. We had taken a loan with NatWest to buy the pub for our daughter, Robyn, who was keen to run it. She had worked as a waitress for us when w...

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Sharp & Tappin

Peer-to-business Loans

"Sharp & Tappin is a precision engineering company and has been going for 11 years. The business has two parts: one is onboard cameras for ships and the other is composite blade saws for the aerospace industry. The business was set up by one of my sons and one of his friends' fathers and I joined it. The business was expanding and we desperately needed more space. We were renting units but we didn’t want to rent more space as this was dead money, instead we wanted to buy some land and build on it.

In 2007, we bought development land, Natwest were going to lend us the money but they changed their mind. We went to Parnells Solicitors who put us in contact with a local farmer which enabled us to take out a private mortgage. W...

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Peer-to-business Loans

UK Bond Network investors helped the company to raise their full funding requirement, enabling them to extend new loans to borrowers and to refinance short-term bonds as they mature.

iwoca provides credit facilities of between £1k and £100k to small businesses across the UK, Germany, Spain and Poland. Founded in 2012, iwoca has issued over £45m in loans and has recently completed a $20m Series B equity raise.

Michael Elalouf, CFO, iwoca

“UK Bond Network’s tech-enabled approach helps us diversify our financing options and will be crucial to supporting growth amongst European SMEs.”

Michael Elalouf, Chief Financial Officer at iwoca, commented:

“We aim to offer a flexible financing solution to Europe’s twenty million small business...

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Six Degrees Student Accommodation

Peer-to-business Loans

Tajinder Ubhi has previous experience managing 60 buy-to-let properties around Nottinghamshire and Derby.

With planning permission already in place, the loan Tajinder received from our investors was used to build the four-storey, 46-bed student accommodation development called Six Degrees on time. He worked with the best contractors and advisors to complete this successful build.

Tajinder Ubhi, Owner of Six Degrees Student Accommodation:

“The banks weren’t helpful so I was forced to look for another way to finance the deal. The Assetz Capital team were fantastic and I have absolute belief in what they are developing, so it was great to see every aspect of th...

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Construction Industry: TRC

Peer-to-business Loans

TRC specialises in the renovation of old timber windows, the installation of new timber windows and exterior building refurbishment. The business was founded 20 years ago by David Gibson, when, working as a carpenter, he came across a continental company that was looking for contractors to carry out work with its resin repair system. Says David Gibson: “I was very impressed with the system as it meant I could repair previously irreparable windows permanently, to a high standard, and it looked good.” Since then, the company has grown into related areas with 60 direct employees and up to 40 with subcontractors.

The Problem

TRC came to ArchOver needing working capital for expansion due to...

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​Seven Spirit Ltd

Peer-to-business Loans

Seven Spirit Ltd is an independent bar and restaurant group which currently operates three sites in Northampton: ‘Sazerac’ – a boutique cocktail bar, ‘Old House Northampton’, an English pub and kitchen and ‘Department of Meat and Social Affairs’, a bar and restaurant and multi-use venue which stages live music events and is also available to hire for private events. Seven Spirit Ltd has been trading for 3 years and has grown quickly during this time.

Location - Northampton

Business Nature - Leisure & Hospitality

Loan Purpose - Asset Purchase

Trading For - 3 years

Target - £50,000

Loan Term - 12 months

Number of Bids - 15

Avg ROI - 11.35%


Keen to expand ...

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Amy Louise Bridal

Peer-to-business Loans

Amy Louise Bridal Gowns is a designer bridal boutique located in the picturesque town of Nantwich, in Cheshire. The boutique has been present in the town for the past 14 years however in early 2012, James Lindsay purchased the shop from the previous owner to run it as a family business. Amy Louise Bridal Gowns has an excellent reputation for the service they provide to their brides. Stocking designer dresses aimed at the higher end of the market and ranging in price from £1,500 to £4,000, the boutique attract brides from the length and breadth of the country, usually through personal referrals or via their website.

Location – Nantwich, Chesire

Business Nature – Retail

Loan Purpose – Working Capital

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Paradigm Reinstatements

Peer-to-business Loans

Paradigm Reinstatements is a new and uniquely different all trades contractor, operating throughout Scotland in the insurance fire and flood reinstatements sector. Carrying out all types of insurance repairs to properties that have suffered damage, their range of services is unique in Scotland, offering a genuine ‘one-stop-shop’ solution. The Company’s services range from dehumidification/drying of buildings, leak detection, moisture investigation surveys, all trades repairs, removals and storage of contents, asbestos sampling and removal.

The Company has been trading for 2 years and has grown quickly during this time. With a client list of household names within the UK insurance industry including ...

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We Care for Children

Peer-to-business Loans

Edinburgh based company, ‘We Care for Children’ has been trading for the past 15 years as ‘Little Flyer’s Nursery’. Since starting with one nursery in 1999, the company currently operates across six locations in Edinburgh and West Lothian, providing day care and out-of-school care for over 300 children aged between 3 months and 12 years old. Throughout the company’s 15 year history, they have shown sustainability, market insight and continued success in growth. All Little Flyers Nurseries have a flexible approach to childcare, and unlike most other nurseries, they offer shift/roster places so that they can adapt to the needs of the modern working family. The nurseries have a great reputation, achieve ‘very good’ gr...

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The Shrubbery Care Home

Peer-to-business Loans

When Avtar and Amarjit Sandhu the owners of The Shubbery Care Home wanted to pay back a private investor, so they turned to Assetz Capital to borrow money from a group of investors.

Mr. and Mrs. Sandhu borrowed £700k from 644 investors which allowed the couple to buy out an existing private investor, including fees and a 2-month interest buffer, who had provided a short-term loan.

The couple have owned and run the profitable care home, The Shrubbery, for over 20 years. The 28- room, CQC registered home specialises in supporting residents over 65 with dementia and mental health conditions.

Gurtak Sandhu, manager of The Shubbery Care Home commented on his experience:

"Assetz Capital we...

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Laird London: Hats off to business owners Alex and Zofia

Peer-to-business Loans

Last month the Funding Circle team was in Covent Garden visiting the latest Laird Hatters shop and met owners Alex and Zofia Torun-Shaw.

Laird Hatters has borrowed £140,000, across two business loans, from more than 2,000 Funding Circle investors to expand their range of handmade hats and caps.

Funding Circle investor Richard has been lending to hundreds of UK businesses through the marketplace for 3 years and Laird Hatters is one of them. We took Richard to meet Alex and Zofia to see how his money directly helped the business to grow. He said ‘having my money go to businesses that need money is imp...

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RateSetter Helps with Rebrand of Printing Company

Peer-to-business Loans

Datum Print in Hertfordshire wanted to attract new business through a rebrand and increased marketing activity – traditional lenders weren’t interested, so RateSetter stepped in.

Scott Pearce, Joint Managing Director at Datum Print, wanted to rebrand and invest in marketing to grow his business. Despite a compelling business case and 15 years of trading history, no traditional lenders were willing to offer the loan which he needed.

After picking up the phone and talking directly with the commercial credit team at RateSetter, Scott found that they were easy to talk to and made a real effort to understand the bus...

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CIP Recruitment

Peer-to-business Loans

Seeking £1,000,000, CIP Recruitment aimed to establish a new North West regional headquarters in Manchester following two successive years of EBITDA growth.

So the recruitment company turned to UK Bond Network where the auction generated £1,125,000. Twenty per cent of the money raised was assigned to establishing the Manchester office with the rest facilitating further development of personnel and premises.

Founded in 1993, CIP is a specialist temporary recruitment business with 9 UK branches and 4 onsite client locations.

Gary Pinchen, CEO of CIP Recruitment comments:

"The expansion of our operations in Manchester is a strategically important move for our business. Business growth in the area, combined wit...

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Peer-to-business Loans

Integritie sought £750,000 to capitalise on the rapid growth that they were experiencing, moving away from their services business to solely offer their scalable, cloud-based application.

The auction generated £1,000,000 for the Portsmouth-based company, enabling them to increase their marketing investment and develop their Cloud infrastructure in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Founded in 2000, Integritie is a managed solutions provider which serves bluechip customers in 35 countries utilising its cloud-based applications.

Michael Veenswyk, CEO of Integritie, commented on the process: "We selected UK Bond Network as they provide an exciting new way to raise money without losing equity.

"The outcome was impressive; we rec...

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Funding Circle Investors Help Fund New Bar

Peer-to-business Loans

For Funding Circle’s latest case study they head to Central London to visit Rufus Grantham, co-founder of BloodandSand Limited, who borrowed £104,000 in October 2014 from hundreds of Funding Circle investors. BloodandSand Limited runs 2 cocktail bars in London; ‘The Hide’ on fashionable Bermondsey Street, and their second establishment which has just opened near Bank underground station.

Rufus co-founded BloodandSand Limited more than 8 years ago with a university friend who shared his passion for delivering delicious drinks in an unrivalled atmosphere. Having successfully run “The Hide” for many years, they looked to open new location.


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Claret Showroom

Peer-to-business Loans

Claret Showroom is a fashion distributor representing Australian and American brands to retailers in the UK and Middle East including the likes of ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Net A Porter and Selfridges. They run quarterly sales campaigns in the London and Paris showrooms inviting retail buyers to see new styles and pre-order for the upcoming season.

Started 9 years ago, the company made the switch from sales agent to distributor. The company has been working with some great brands and has been growing quickly off the back of that. The company has been growing fast over the last four years and that growth was putting a strain on cashflow. Alex and Claire, co-founders of Claret Showroom, didn’t want cashflow to throttle their gr...

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