Alternative Funding - A Guide for UK Business

Peer-to-business Loans

It's complicated! Well, obtaining funding for your business from somewhere else other than the major banks, can be. This guide summarises the major alternative funding sources currently on offer to UK SMEs, with contact details for leading providers in each category. View the YesGrowth Alternative Funding Guide here 

Read more »

Zopa' 2015 - A year In Review.

Peer-to-business Loans

2015 was a record-breaking year for Zopa. We won awards, broke UK peer-to-peer lending records and explored new ways for peer-to-peer lending to reach more consumers.

Here are some of our 2015 highlights, or take a look at our 2015 infographic:

Breaking UK peer-to-peer records

This year Zopa has smashed through a number of UK peer-to-peer lending milestones.

The big one, which was covered widely in the media, came in August when we became the first UK peer-to-peer platform to lend its billionth pound. You can delve into the figures behind Zopa’s first billion in our infographic.

We also set monthly records for UK P2P lending. In July we became the first platform to lend £5...

Read more »

'You can trust me, I'm not a banker': Peer-to-peer lenders are part of the Establishment - as the OBE for Zopa co-founder Giles Andrews proves

Peer-to-business Loans

Once upon a time the New Year honours saw a slew of bankers collecting gongs. These days things are different – in 2016 it is the so-called ‘alternative financiers’ who seem to have been the winners.

Among them is Giles Andrews (now OBE), co-founder and executive chairman of Zopa. The pioneering group has overseen £1.2billion worth of lending to individuals an...

Read more »

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...

Read more »

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...

Read more »

BBB to Lend to SMEs Through RateSetter

Peer-to-business Loans

The British Business Bank (BBB) is buying into RateSetter’s rapidly scaling SME lending programme.

The BBB first began pumping money through the RateSetter platform in July 2014, with the express purpose of providing funding to sole traders. £10m was then to be put to work, which would comprise 40% of any qualifying loan until £4m of the money was used up, after which point the remaining funds would make up 20% of all qualifying loans.

What classes as “qualifying” now includes SME loans. RateSetter recently revealed that a whopping 40% of its outstanding loans belong to businesses of some description. That’s £180m of RateSetter money that has...

Read more »

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...

Read more »

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...

Read more »

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...

Read more »

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...

Read more »

LendingCrowd Launch Investor Facing App

Peer-to-business Loans

Peer-to-peer lender LendingCrowd has introduced an app to make its investors’ lives easier.

The iOS app will give investors instant access to their investment portfolios and the ability to invest while on the move. Some key features of the LendingCrowd app are:

Investors can view their whole investment portfolioReceive notifications of when they are outbidReceive notifications of when a bid is accepted

Users of the app will be able to manage the entire investing experience on the go; from the moment they sign up, to closing a lending deal.

Stuart Lunn, CEO of LendingCrowd, believes that the app will open up the opportunity to a whole new a...

Read more »

Growth Street Adds £5m in Firepower

Peer-to-business Loans

Growth Street officially went live roughly a fortnight ago, applying the marketplace lending model to a small business overdraft offering.

Growth Street provides access to flexible overdrafts of up to £150k for small businesses. Those overdrafts are funded by a select community of investors, in not dissimilar fashion to the consumer lending outfit Lendable. These investors must be either: a High Net Worth individual (with either £100k+ annual income or £250k+ in net assets), a Sophisticated Investor or a company or institution. CEO James Sherwin-Smith indicated to me that this last band of potential investors may well come to include former Growth Street business borrowers...

Read more »

Banking By-pass?

Peer-to-business Loans

By Ian Cunningham, Head of Credit, LendingCrowd

Across the world, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have traditionally been the backbone of regional economies and in recent years they have also benefited from increased globalisation which has helped to boost their geographical reach into new markets.

However, since the 2008 banking crash SMEs have often struggled to raise the finance they need from the banks to grow and expand their businesses. The global regulatory response to financial crises through banking supervision regulations such as the Basel Capital Accord, while designed to reduce systemic risk, has also constrained bank lending to SMEs. In particular Basel III, aglobal voluntary regulatory f...

Read more »

Funding Circle Builds Further Alliances

Peer-to-business Loans

Funding Circle have formed a further two partnerships with local councils in its continued attempt to boost lending to small businesses.

Two Suffolk councils, Babergh and Mid Suffolk, are the latest boroughs to join forces with the peer-to-peer business lender.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils will each invest an unprecedented £1m each through Funding Circle and will lend in tranches of £100k each, with roughly half going to help local business across Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. Both councils will use the returns to protect local public services.

According to Babergh Council Leader Cllr. Jennie Jenkins,

“This investment highlights ou...

Read more »

ArchOver Strikes £100m Insurance Deal

Peer-to-business Loans

By - for the original article, click here

ArchOver ensures the longevity of its “secured and insured” peer-to-peer lending model.

SME lending platform ArchOver has announced a partnership with Coface – one of the world’s largest credit insurers. The deal creates future insurance cover of up to £100m. Coface specialises in the field of credit insurance for unpaid invoices, which suits the ArchOver model to a tee. ArchOver loans are secured against the value of a business’ accounts receivables, which have to be maintained at 125% of the value of the loan. Those accounts receivables are then underwritten by a “global insurance firm”. That firm – f...

Read more »


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...

Read more »

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...

Read more »

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...

Read more »

RebuildingSociety to Support own Auctions

Peer-to-business Loans

RebuildingSociety last week launched a new initiative where it is to back every loan that is put up onto the platform.

The peer-to-peer business lending platform is to bid £1,000 on every loan that goes live on their website in aim to boost bidding. RebuildingSociety works on an auction process where investors bid amounts they wish to lend and the interest rate they want to charge. The more bids your loan request gets the lower the rate of interest you will be.

The business lender has stated that if the loan closes with their investment on board, they will put the £1,000 up for sale at a rate of 1% below the loan’s maximum rate. These wil...

Read more »

​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 ...

Read more »