AI-Enhanced Smart Savings App Plum Raises $3 Million via Latest Investment Round

Plum, an artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced smart savings application, has raised around $3 million via its second investment round, bringing the company’s total funds raised to approximately $9.3 million.

Plum recently introduced its new Android app, which extends the firm’s digital offering across Facebook Messenger and iOS. The company aims to onboard two million UK-based clients by the end of next year.

Plum’s management says the new savings app could increase new monthly sign-ups by as much as 40%.

Plum’s previously launched chatbox for Facebook Messenger will stay active. The company’s latest smart savings app will offer a new chat system so that users who are unable or hesitant to use Facebook aren’t forced to do so.

Plum’s existing investors including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRB) and VentureFriends joined LendInvest’s co-founder and CEO Christian Faes, who took part in the company’s recent investment round. Plum’s first funding round attracted $4.5 million in investments in May 2019.

Plum also received £50,000 (appr. $64,000) in prize money as the company was among one of 15 finalists for UK innovation agency Nesta’s £1.5 million (appr. $1.9 million) Open Banking challenge for new companies.

The Plum app helps people achieve their savings goals by using gamification techniques and various established savings rules and practices.

Plum has introduced several “intelligent” saving rules, including the 52 Week Challenge, which can help people save an extra £1367 each year. Plum has also introduced the Rainy Day Rule, which puts a certain amount of funds for savings whenever it rains. The money is automatically sent to users’ savings accounts.

In order to help European citizens with poor savings habits, Plum co-founder and CEO Victor Trokoudes stated:

“Until now we have been focused on the UK but the Brits are not the only people who are struggling to save and grow their money. Our sights are firmly set on Europe; in Spain, for example, a quarter of the population don’t have any savings at all.”

He added:

“We plan to help these people by investing heavily in our product to make it as useful as possible. We have hired a behavioral scientist to ensure that the new features we’re building are trail-blazing and informed by actual human behavior rather than industry assumptions.”

Digital Finance Forum Says UK Fintech Leadership is at Risk

The UK has maintained a leadership role in the global Fintech realm for years. Boosted by a supportive government, a regulatory regime that encourages innovation and competition and a robust startup ecosystem, the UK has led the rest of the world when it comes to Fintech.

A recent survey by the Digital Finance Forum (DFF) indicates this global leadership position is at risk as only 1/3 of FIntech founders are confident in the UK’s ability to maintain this role.

Founded by the creators of LendInvest, a leading online marketplace for property finance, the DFF is a network of the UK’s leading Fintech founders aiming to create real conversations, and better collaboration amongst entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders.

Christian Faes, Chair of the Digital Finance Forum and Co-Founder & CEO of LendInvest, says the DFF is facilitating a dialogue and asking those who are actually at the center of building the Fintech sector, what they think and how the government might be able to help.

The report states:

“The ability of Fintechs to attract and hire talented people is a key challenge identified by the study that the government is asked to address urgently. However, the Fintech founders surveyed also revealed that the access to talent issue is not restricted to finding more talented engineers and product professionals. Fintech companies also struggle to attract suitably experienced financial services professionals into their businesses. There are a number of suggestions in the study that may assist with this challenge – such as increasing the current EMI thresholds for ‘scale-up’ Fintech businesses to incentivise the best people to join their companies as they grow.”

The DFF says there is a “widespread call” for a Secretary of State for Technology.

According to the study:

  • 2/3 of respondents believe the UK is currently the world leader in Fintech
  • Only 1/3 are optimistic of the UK’s leadership position in five years.
  • Brexit is a significant risk as 2/3 are worried or extremely worried about how the European separation will impact Fintech business.
  • 66% said finding talent is a serious challenge
  • The UK government can help by:
    • improving the Visa program
    • Fintech regulation must remain competitive and continue to modernise
    • 41% advocate for a Secretary of State of Technology.
    • Expand the EIS/SEIS scheme to all Fintech businesses

Faes explains that the UK must persevere in its quest to maintain the Fintech crown:

“Some great ideas have been put forward in this survey. The UK must not be complacent about being the world leader in Fintech – and there’s definitely a feeling from Fintech founders, as revealed through this survey, that this threatens to be the case. There is clearly an opportunity with the new government to make the Fintech sector a priority again.”

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LendInvest to Move into Regulated Home Loan Mortgages, Raises £200 Million from HSBC for Significant Expansion of Lending Services

LendInvest, one of the most successful online lending platforms in the UK, has raised £200 million from HSBC UK to help fuel expansion into the regulated home loan market. In a release, LendInvest said this marks the company’s next step towards achieving its ambition of becoming a whole-of-market mortgage provider.

Christian Faes, co-founder, and CEO of LendInvest said his company continues to attract investment onto their platform from some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated investors.

“This new funding from HSBC is a further important step forward in the evolution of our business. We have shown to great effect how our technology-driven approach to lending can succeed in the specialist loans market. Our sights are now firmly set on continuing to build out our platform and on ultimately disrupting the £200 billion mainstream UK mortgage market.”

Launching in 2019, LendInvest’s first home loan product will be available to homeowners that require short-term bridging finance for terms up to 12 months.

LendInvest described the UK mortgage market as “ripe for disruption.” LendInvest combines both individual and institutional funding in its current online marketplace for loans. LendInvest enables corporate investors and sophisticated or HNW individuals to invest in the mortgages it writes via its “Co-Investment Platform,” discretionary fund and £500 million LSE-listed bond program.

To date, LendInvest has lent over £2 billion taken market share in the short-term finance or bridge market and rapidly scaled in the buy-to-let market. LendInvest has operated a profitable online lending platform for years.

In addition to HSBC UK, LendInvest’s bank funding partners include international banks Citigroup and Nomura, European banks and a number of UK-listed challenger banks.

David Langford, Relationship Director in HSBC’s Non-Bank Financial Institutions Team in London said HSBC is delighted to partner with LendInvest and the platform’s experienced team on this funding.

“The deal demonstrates our commitment to providing access to funding in an evolving UK residential property market in order to help support housing supply. We look forward to the launch of this exciting mortgage product and seeing how it will benefit new and existing LendInvest customers.”

Property Fintech LendInvest Adds CFO to Board of Directors

LendInvest, an online lending platform for property finance, has announced the addition of Chief Financial Officer, Angelie Panteli, to the board of directors.

According to LendInvest, Panteli joined the company in January 2018 and is responsible for all financial aspects of the business including financial strategy.

Panteli is a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser and has experience in roles across both large global listed businesses and fast growth technology businesses.

Prior to joining LendInvest, Panteli was at Blippar, an augmented reality technology company.

LendInvest says this appointment further bolsters their board, with Panteli joining existing members: Christian Faes and Ian Thomas, the co-founders of LendInvest, and Mattias Ljungman, a Non-Executive Director and Partner/co-founder at Atomico.

“Angelie has been an impact player since she joined the business, and it will be great to have her voice at the board level. She represents our core company values, and has proven herself to be someone that is very capable of getting stuff done,” commented Faes. “LendInvest is building a new kind of financial services business which is changing the way mortgages are funded and work in the UK. Angelie is playing an integral role in our ambitious plans for the business.”

Leading UK Online Property Finance Platform LendInvest Raises $39.5 Million

LendInvest, a leading online property finance platform, has closed on a $39.5 million Series C funding round that is comprised of both debt and equity. The funding has been in process throughout the summer and is viewed as positioning the UK based company for an initial public offering at some point in the future. LendInvest said the Atomico led the round along with new investors Tiger Management (Julian Robertson) and GP Bullhound.

The Series C follows the last round of $22 million (£17 million) in March 2016, which LendInvest says enabled the platform to accelerate its investment in technology and enter the UK Buy-to-Let (BTL) market. LendInvest has now raised over £1 billion in growth capital.

Christian Faes, co-founder and CEO of LendInvest, said raising capital was not necessary to fund ongoing operations as the firm has been profitable for quite some time – a unique characteristic for Fintechs providing online capital formation. Faes said the funding was more about “beefing up” their balance sheet to better position the company for future opportunities.

“The funding round was done at a sensible valuation, which doesn’t set us up for failure, and my co-founder and I still own approximately 70% of the company,” said Faes. “There are also no quirky liquidation preference stacks that seek to distort true valuations. We are a straightforward player, and we’re building a big business for the long term.”

Faes said that by using technology, LendInvest is building a new type of financial services firm – and one that is extremely scalable.

“It’s great to have received further backing from Atomico – who have been great partners in our business – and to bring on our new investors in GP Bullhound and Tiger, to help us achieve our ambition.“

LendInvest is a leader in the UK mortgage sector with multiple products including bridge financing, development finance and BTL. To date, LendInvest has lent more than £1.5 billion (($1.94 billion) for more than 5000 UK properties.

Mattias Ljungman, Partner at Atomico, said they were impressed with LendInvest’s ability to distrupt the established lending industry.

“We are excited to work with LendInvest as it continues with its high-growth trajectory and look forward to seeing what the future holds for the business.”

Manish Madhvani, GP Bullhound, added they were delighted to back the LendInvest team as they “redefine and simplify the mortgage market.”

LendInvest’s most recent audited financial statements from March 2018 showed a fourth consecutive profit and gross revenues of £53 billion.




LendInvest’s Total Lending Capital Hits £1 Billion as Fintech Raises £150 Million in Residential Development Funding in New JV

LendInvest, a leading online property finance platform, reports it has secured £150 million of “initial funding” in a new joint venture with Nomura, a global investment bank,  and Magnetar, an alternative investment manager. This new capital infusion now places LendInvest’s total capital for lending at around £1 billion. The JV with LendInvest will see the funding used for residential development finance.

Nomura is a Japan headquartered financial services group with an integrated global network spanning over 30 countries. Magnetar, based in the US, is a $13.7 billion investment manager that seeks to achieve stable risk-adjusted returns by opportunistically employing a wide range of fixed income, energy, quantitative and fundamental investment strategies.

LendInvest’s development finance caters to smaller development projects, with loans available to experienced developers seeking finance to build residential properties in the UK for periods of up to 30 months. LendInvest also offers bridging and Buy-to-Let finance. To date, LendInvest’s investors have funded over £1.5 billion of loans to help borrowers buy, build or renovate over 5,000 homes across the UK.

Christian Faes, Co-Founder & CEO of LendInvest, says that his company continues to attract investment from some of the largest and most sophisticated investors around the world.

“Development Finance is a key product for us as it complements our dominant position in short-term mortgages, and our expanding Buy-to-Let product, further establishing LendInvest as the ‘one-stop-shop’ for property entrepreneurs,” says Faes. “This funding joint venture with Nomura and Magnetar will allow us to continue to grow our development finance product, and to provide much needed funding for SME house-builders across the country.”

Roger Cattermole, MD at Nomura, described Nomura’s participation in the JV as demonstrating their “commitment to providing SMEs and property entrepreneurs with access to funding in an evolving UK residential property market in order to help grow businesses and ultimately support housing supply.”

Nomura and Magnetar now join a broad range of institutional investors investing in LendInvest’s secured property loans, including Merseyside Pension Fund, a UK listed fund manager, Citigroup and a number of other banks which include a UK challenger bank. This funding brings LendInvest’s total capital for lending to approximately £1 billion.

Without Papers? Yes! LendInvest Partners with Onfido to Confirm Identity Online

Who are you? LendInvest, a UK marketplace platform for mortgages, and Onfido, an identity verification provider, have partnered to streamline LendInvest’s digital application process for its Buy-to-Let (BTL) product to determine identity. In November 2017, LendInvest launched its first BTL product with a digital application process; the new partnership with Onfido builds on LendInvest’s recent integration with Stripe to take online valuation fee payments for BTL applications.

Christian Faes, LendInvest Co-Founder & CEO, explained that LendInvest and Onfido are working together to solve an “all-too-common financial services problem.”

“We are continually developing our own technology tools and systems in-house to make the borrower journey through our products simpler, faster and more efficient,” noted Faes. “Wherever it makes sense, we’ll always integrate these with other technology leaders’ complementary tools for the added benefit of our customers.”

Onfido recently was selected by City A.M. as the #2 in Europe’s Fintech50, best ‘ones to watch,’ alongside unicorns Revolut, Raisin, N26, Seedrs, Starling Bank and Tink. Onfido currently carries out checks in 192 countries for global customers including Revolut, Couchsurfing and Zipcar.

By incorporating Onfido’s proprietary tech into its digital application system, LendInvest indicated that its BTL applicants may now confirm their identity online, instead of the need for paper forms. Their brokers can prove clients’ identities by simply uploading a photo of one identity document such as a passport or driving license to LendInvest’s application portal along with applicants’ selfie photos taken with their mobile phone.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Howdy Partner! @LendInvest CEO @ChristianFaes & @Onfido CEO @HusaynKassai Streamline #mortgage Process @fastestmortgage ” quote=”Howdy Partner! @LendInvest CEO @ChristianFaes & @Onfido CEO @HusaynKassai Streamline #mortgage Process @fastestmortgage “]

Onfido Co-Founder & CEO Hussayn Kasai noted that the importance of its tech:

“We live in an increasingly online world, and in-person or paper-based processes are no longer fit for purpose. There’s increasing demand from both brokers and consumers for a fast, frictionless and secure lending experience, and we’re proud to work with market-leading companies like LendInvest to deliver that.”

By removing the need for certified physical copy documents, the LendInvest-Onfido partnership aims to make the mortgage application process easier for both brokers and their clients by saving time, effort and resources. In addition, Plans are also in place to incorporate Onfido technology into the onboarding process used for LendInvest’s online investment platform over the coming months.

Earlier in July, LendInvest reported strong growth across all key metric; the platform reported that it currently manages more than £820 million ($1.1 billion) on behalf of all types of investors who have lent almost £1.4 billion ($1.85bn) of mortgage finance throughout the UK.

“We have lent more BTL finance in the first few months since launch than we did during our first full four years in business,” Faes commented regarding its 2017 Financial Year Results. “We almost doubled the size of the business last year, with only a relatively negligible increase in our headcount, and importantly remaining profitable which we’ve consistently done for the last four years.”

Here is the Enhanced Fintech Cooperation Agreement Between the UK FCA and the Australian Securities & Investment Commission

As was announced earlier today (and leaked out earlier this week) the Australian and UK governments have signed an “enhanced cooperation agreement” on Fintech innovation. Under the new agreement the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will continue to refer innovative Fintech businesses to each other for advice and support via their respective Innovation Hubs.

The signing of the document brought together UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison finalize this “Fintech Bridge.” Hammond commented on the agreement during his speech this morning stating;

“This is our most ambitious collaboration to date, bringing together regulators, policy-makers and private sector leaders to collaborate on growing our respective fintech markets in tandem.”

Christopher Woolard, FCA’s Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, stated in a release that the enhanced agreement underscores the FCA’s and ASIC’s commitment to cooperation on Fintech. Woolard said collaboration between regulators is a vital part of helping innovative businesses flourish across international jurisdictions;

“Back in 2016 when we signed the original agreement with ASIC, we stated that we hoped that it would be the first of many to come. I am pleased to say that this has certainly been the case,” added Woolard.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said that ASIC and the FCA have developed an immensely beneficial relationship on Fintech;

“We are delighted this extension will offer FinTechs the opportunity to spread good ideas across borders. We will work together to raise topics and approaches of common interest at an international level.”

Christian Faes, Co-Founder & CEO, LendInvest and a native of Australia, called the new agreement an exciting development;

“As a London-based Aussie who’s founded businesses in both Australia and the UK, I can say with some certainty that the Fintech Bridge is something to be welcomed by the industry.Both ends of the bridge have a lot to gain. By getting in early like this, Australians can learn a lot from London’s approach to Fintech adoption. London is the global leader of Fintech for good reason: the government and regulator recognised the power of Fintech early and were quicker than most to support it. They’re getting something right down there and that’s exciting. With the number of Australian Fintech startups doubling in the last two years, we should expect to see some great cross-border collaboration of all types happen in the months to come.”

LendInvest Returns to Retail Bond Market with Fixed Rate Notes

LendInvest, a UK based online marketplace platform for property finance, has announced a proposed issuance of  5.375% fixed rate bonds due October 2023 by its wholly-owned subsidiary, LendInvest Secured Income plc.

Christian Faes, Co-founder and CEO of LendInvest Limited, said they were delighted to return to the bond market so soon after the first successful issuance of bonds in August 2017 that were over-subscribed.

“Our marketplace platform provides access to our loans to an extremely wide universe of investors, and our retail bonds make up an important channel for both retail and institutional investors alike. LendInvest provides investors with the opportunity to invest in a portfolio of loans that are all secured by property, at conservative LTV’s, and backed by an unrivaled 10-year track record,” said Faes. “Banks and other traditional lenders continue to retrench from property lending, constrained by increasing capital adequacy requirements and other limiting factors. This scenario shows no sign of changing and exacerbates the lack of capital available to professional property investors and developers trying to run their businesses around the country. The door is open for alternative lenders, like LendInvest, to be highly competitive in this space.”

LendInvest’s first bond issuance is trading on the LSE (LIV1) and was issued in August 2017 after raising £50 million from both retail and institutional investors. This new issuance is expected to trade on the LSE as well.

The net proceeds of bond will be used by LendInvest to fund the origination and / or purchase of bridging and buy-to-let loans which satisfy defined eligibility criteria.

According to the company, payments under the Bonds will be guaranteed by LendInvest and the bonds will be secured by way of a floating charge over all of the over the whole of the undertaking and all property, assets and rights, both present and future, of the Issuer. The bonds are expected to be ISA and SIPP eligible.

Additionally, at any time during the life of the Bond, investors are permitted to trade the Bonds through their stockbroker.

LendInvest is an interesting Fintech platform that created a professional marketplace to finance property development in the robust UK market. LendInvest believes it is filling a funding gap in the UK’s mortgage market, while innovating to bring faster finance to borrowers and a uniquely competitive investment opportunity for the wide investor community.

In its latest financial report for the six months to 30 September 2017, LendInvest reported gross revenue growth (up 45% year-on-year to £15 million) and continued profitability.


Online Lender LendInvest Lent £500 Million to Finance c.1800 UK Homes in 2017

Online lending platform LendInvest announced on Thursday it lent £500 million to help professional property investors, developers and landlords buy, build or renovate c.1800 homes in 2017. The online lender revealed that this marks a 33% increase on 2016’s £375 million lending record. LendInvest has now lent a total of over £1.2 billion to property investors and developers. Christian Faes, Co-founder and CEO at LendInvest, stated:

“Surpassing the £500 million milestone for annual lending was a great way to close off a fantastic year for the business. Despite an unexpected snap General Election in June and the continued weight of Brexit negotiations on the general economy, we are just as confident as our customers in the resilience of the professional property investment market. Demand for high quality lending products has not wavered. We expect to see this appetite increase again in 2018, as we further consolidate our dominant share of the short-term lending market and rapidly roll out our buy-to-let loan offering.“

LendInvest also explained that over a year it added five new products to its loan range and now offers a total of eight loan types, each designed specifically for different borrower requirements. The new additions included Refurbishment Finance, Pre-Construction Finance, and professional Buy-To-Let loans. The company also made senior hires into its sales team, including the appointment of Ian Boden as Sales Director who joined after several years running Aldermore’s commercial lending business.

Lendinvest added that in December, it reported a record-breaking year of capital raising. Between January and December 2017, the lender’s invested capital base grew by 104% to £765 million ($1.03 billion).

LendInvest Grows 104% in 2017, Tops $1 Billion in Lending Capital & Looks Ahead to 2018

LendInvest, a leading UK online marketplace platform for property finance, has reported a record-breaking year of capital raising. Since the start of 2017, LendInvest’s lending capital base has grown by 104% to £765 million ($1.03 billion). LendInvest’s diversified investor base includes global banks, pension and infrastructure funds, family offices and private clients based throughout the UK, mainland Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The company operates the largest institutional funding base of any European FinTech lender on record.

“Surpassing the $1 billion mark for capital under management confirms LendInvest’s place as the UK’s leading online platform for stable, income-driven investments into UK real estate,” explained LendInvest Co-Founder & CEO Christian Faes. “The demand for credit to back UK residential property projects consistently outweighs the supply, but banks and other traditional lenders continually fail to close that gap. As one of the UK’s leading non-bank lenders, we’re in a unique position to capitalise on the opportunity this creates for the benefit of all our investors. With a well diversified lending capital base, 2018 looks promising for us and our investors. We’ll lend more than ever before across the country, helping to fund the creation of thousands more essential new and improved homes in dozens of the UK’s towns and cities.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”LendInvest hits $1B in funds @LendInvest #onlinelending #fintech @fintechinsider_ @crowdfundinside @ChristianFaes ” quote=”LendInvest CEO Christian Faes celebrates UK Online Lending Platform’s $1B milestone”]

To date, LendInvest investors have used the platform to invest almost £1.2 billion in secured property loans. These loans are made to professional property investors and developers who have built, bought or renovated over 4,000 homes around the UK. Over the year, LendInvest has recorded considerable investor demand across all four of its investment channels:

  • The company continued to attract long-term credit lines from institutional funding partners. In addition to supplementary investments by existing funding line partners, this year LendInvest secured multiple new commitments from major institutions, including Citigroup and the £5.8bn Merseyside Pension Fund.
  • LendInvest’s distinctive online investment platform has recorded strong investment inflows since being remodelled in May to target High Net Worth, sophisticated and professional investors only.
  • LendInvest raised almost £100 million of new capital for its flagship discretionary fund, bringing its total assets under management to £150 million. Much of the Luxembourg-domiciled fund’s growth can be attributed to a growing demand from international investors for exposure to secured UK property investments, including two European pension schemes that came on board for the first time this year.
  • LendInvest launched the FinTech sector’s first secured bond on the London Stock Exchange in August. After raising £50 million in its first issue from a combination of retail and institutional investors, the bond was closed early and over-subscribed.

[clickToTweet tweet=”$1B Milestone… @LendInvest #onlinelending #fintech @fintechinsider_ @crowdfundinside @ChristianFaes #PropTech” quote=”‘With a well diversified lending capital base, 2018 looks promising for us and our investors. We’ll lend more than ever before across the country, helping to fund the creation of thousands more essential new and improved homes in dozens of the UK’s towns and cities.’ “]

During the year, LendInvest has increased its lending capacity to professional investors and developers who buy, build and renovate residential property around the UK. In 2017, the company expanded its range of specialist loan products from two to eight. These included auction finance, pre-construction finance, as well as recently-launched buy-to-let loans that are available for professional investors and limited companies managing portfolios of rental assets across the UK.

Yesterday LendInvest released its latest Buy-to-Let Index report, which ranks all 105 postcode areas around England and Wales based on a combination of four metrics: capital gains, transaction volumes, rental yields and rental price growth. Manchester topped this year’s report.

Big News: Citi Provides Warehouse Facility to LendInvest in Buy to Let Expansion

LendInvest, a Fintech marketplace platform for property finance, has agreed a long-term warehouse facility with Citi boosting its entry into the UK’s £40 billion buy-to-let (BTL) market. Under the terms of the financing, Citi will provide a funding line to LendInvest that will be used to finance specialist BTL loans, designed for professional, experienced landlords and investors. Initially, the BTL product will be piloted with a select group of mortgage brokers, with the loans being rolled out to the wider market over the coming months.

LendInvest’s BTL product will be supported by an online mortgage application and case management portal. The end-to-end, paperless, technology-driven system is specially designed to alleviate pain points in the mortgage process for brokers and borrowers.

LendInvest added that it now has more than £500 million of lending capital on tap from its institutional investors creating the largest institutional capital base of any UK Fintech. LendInvest currently manages more than £750 million.

LendInvest shares that Citi joins a broad range of institutional investors investing in LendInvest’s secured property loans, including Macquarie Bank, Merseyside Pension Fund and a listed UK challenger bank. Simultaneously, LendInvest allows individuals and other corporate investors to access its investment opportunities via its Online Investment Platform for high net worth and sophisticated investors, a discretionary fund, and a £500m bond program listed on the London Stock Exchange. To date, investors have funded over £1.1 billion of loans to help borrowers buy, build or renovate 4,000 UK homes.

Chris Philp, PPS to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, commented on the new arrangement between Citi and LendInvest;

“This partnership between LendInvest and Citi is a great example of major institutions getting behind UK FinTech in a serious way, and confirms London’s status as a leading destination for global FinTech investment. LendInvest’s push into buy-to-let is a great example of FinTech moving into more hard-to-disrupt markets that could be otherwise left behind by financial innovation.”

LendInvest’s BTL loans will be available on terms up to 30 years. Entry into the BTL market was described as a natural next step for LendInvest, that will accelerate the company’s volume of lending.

Christian Faes, Co-founder & CEO at LendInvest, said that institutional capital coming to his company was from some of the largest institutions in the world and a solid validation of their business model.

“This new funding line from Citi shows how our business has evolved from disruptive FinTech startup to established scale-up business as we move towards the mainstream mortgage market. Citi’s backing equips us with the firepower to expand into longer-term lending, as we take our superior technology and processes into the professional portfolio landlord market. It also gives us an opportunity to work closely with a team that is world-class in the global mortgage market and a well-established player in the securitisation space.”

LendInvest was advised by the Financial Services Corporate Finance team at EY.

LendInvest Teams Up With UKPA to Launch Second Annual PropTech Influence List

On Thursday, UK-based p2p lending platform LendInvest announced it has teamed up with the UK PropTech Association (UKPA) to release the second annual PropTech Influence List. The online lender revealed:

“The LendInvest PropTech Influencer List aims to recognises the 25 people doing the most to develop the understanding, reach and benefit of PropTech in the global property market. Nominations are open to anyone working in or contributing to PropTech in the UK and overseas. Individuals can nominate themselves, a friend or colleague, or anyone else that they feel has contributed to the support and growth of PropTech over the past year. There is no limit to the amount of times you can vote or number of people you can nominate.”

Speaking about the list, Christian Faes, Co-founder and CEO of LendInvest, stated:

“We are excited to bring back the LendInvest PropTech Influencer List for a second year due to popular demand.  This year, it’s important to us to recognise the work that’s happening to promote the rise of digital transformation not just in the UK’s property market, but overseas too. With the help of our partners at the UKPA, we are confident that we will see a lot of new faces in this year’s list.“

Eddie Holmes, Chairman of UKPA, added:

“LendInvest’s first PropTech Influencer List in 2016 was really helpful in enabling property firms understand who they should talk to as they align to the threats and opportunities PropTech offers them. It is our pleasure to partner with LendInvest to help the 2017 survey reach as many people as possible.”

The deadline to vote is November 3rd. The list will be announced at LendInvest’s next PropTech Meet-up on November 30th.

LendInvest CEO Christian Faes Challenges Government to Back SME Builders: Game On

“There are five times fewer small scale developers today than in the last housebuilding boom and not a single one of today’s top ten housebuilders was created before 1990. There is a clear monopoly in the sector,” clarified LendInvest Co-Founder & CEO Christian Faes. “What was clear from our discussion is that more must be done to level the playing field for property entrepreneurs so that they can do business with confidence. This means sweeping away barriers to finance and land for SMEs, as well as celebrating industry initiatives to improve skills in the sector. The cost of doing business must also be reduced.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”.@lendinvest CEO @ChristianFaes challenges govt to back #smebuilders @crowdfundinside” quote=”‘There is a clear monopoly in the sector,’ indicated LendInvest Co-Founder & CEO Christian Faes.”]

Co-hosted with the political journal Prospect and joined by MPs Chris Philp, Mary Robinson, Peter Aldous, Richard Bacon, and former Deputy Mayor of Housing Richard Blakeway, this week LendInvest led a conversation with government and industry at Conservative Party Conference, proposing a package of support for SME property businesses to scale up and deliver more homes across the country.

“Politicians talk often about building more homes as if it were politicians who build them. Let’s stop focusing on targets and let the builders get on with it,” stated MP Richard Bacon. “The government’s role is to remove barriers, not add to them.”

The discussion built on the recommendations of our report earlier this year, which called on government to equalise incentives to start SMEs in the property sector with the support offered to businesses in other sectors, according to the LendInvest blog: “Participants agreed that to solve the housing crisis, a number of policy interventions must be made to improve the availability of finance to SMEs, provide greater access to land, upskill the sector and drive down the cost of doing business.”

“At a time where the government maintains ambitious housing delivery targets, we are seeing a generational loss of smaller house builders,” added Andy Davis, Associate Editor at Prospect Magazine. “If we are to see SMEs succeed and scale, we must challenge the regulatory system that is geared towards mass volume housebuilders and ensure that property entrepreneurs can access the finance they need for their schemes to take off.”

LendInvest Lists First Retail Bond on LSE, Raises £50 Million in Oversubscribed Offer

LendInvest, a leading online platform for property lending and investing, has listed a £50 million retail bond on the London Stock Exchange under ticker “LIV1“. LendInvest reports the bond offer was oversubscribed and closed early due to solid demand from both retail and institutional investors. LendInvest said that approximately 50% of the proceeds raised came from major financial institutions including several multi-billion pound asset managers, two global insurance businesses and a major UK state pension fund.  The retail bond is the first in a £500 million bond program that LendInvest intends to offer to its investment customers over the coming years. The bond was issued by LendInvest Secured Income Plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendInvest created for the purpose of launching the bonds.

LendInvest has been a leader in the sector of property finance in the UK and is one of the largest real estate focused platforms in the world. An early platform to embrace the power of Fintech and the intrinsic efficiencies generated by a digital facing business, LendInvest has lent over £811 million since 2008. The company had previously operated as an offline bridge lender called Montello and rebranded as LendInvest in 2013. LendInvest provides fast finance to property entrepreneurs and SMEs across the UK, and a digital platform for investors to invest in the mortgages it originates. The retail bond was said to be the first to be issued by a Fintech business. This is an important step in LendInvest’s future as it seeks to scale its business further. The bond is seen as a “key fourth funding channel” for LendInvest, alongside the online investment platform, its funds management group, and a number of dedicated institutional funding lines.

“Listing our bond on the London Stock Exchange today marks a significant achievement for LendInvest, and adds considerable strength to our lending platform. At LendInvest we aspire to be an alternative lender that continues to innovate, not just in terms of the technology we are building, but in all aspects of our business,” commented Christian Faes, co-founder & CEO of LendInvest. “We launched the bond programme to make our asset class available to retail investors through an LSE listed offering because it is a well-established, robust structure that offers customers considerable protections. However, whilst the bond was popular with retail investors, some of the City’s largest institutional investors also made significant investments. For four years now, we have been able to grow our business, make major investments in people and technology, and be a consistently profitable business. This track record was key to giving retail bond investors the comfort and confidence that LendInvest is a financially viable and sustainable business, and one that they could trust with their investment.”

The listing on the LSE’s Order Book for Retail Bonds (ORB) was welcomed by the LSE and LendInvest staff this morning during a ceremony hosted by Robert Barnes, the LSE’s Global Head of Primary Markets and CEO of Turquoise. This is the first post Brexit retail bond launch.

“The demand for our first retail bond shows the depth and breadth of investor appetite for income-generating investments that are secured. We look forward to returning to the LSE over the next few years as our retail bond programme rolls out,” added Faes.

Bond, Secured Listed Retail Bond: Lending Marketplace LendInvest Syncs with SyndicateRoom

UK Online investment platform SyndicateRoom has offered members the opportunity to take part in a retail bond offer for LendInvest, the leading marketplace for property lending and investing. To recap, under the offer, LendInvest proposes the issue of sterling-denominated 5.25% fixed-rate retail bond notes, which are due in 2022, by its wholly-owned subsidiary, LendInvest Secured Income plc. LendInvest is the guarantor of the retail bonds, which will be secured by way of a floating charge over the whole of the undertaking and all property, assets and rights, both present and future, of LendInvest Secured Income plc.

“This is a particularly exciting deal for us, as it’s the first time we’ve offered our members access to a retail bond and is the latest example of SyndicateRoom paving the way for private investors into the public markets,” commented SyndicateRoom Co-founder Tom Britton. “By giving our members access to yet another type of offering we’re allowing our investors further opportunity to diversify their portfolios. The announcement also adds to our vision of connecting our members with great businesses – and as a leading fintech company which aims to provide borrowers with a better experience in a tough lending environment, LendInvest is an ideal fit.”

LendInvest’s lending model aims to create a cleaner, quicker and more flexible borrower experience for professional property investors and developers. Leveraging its team’s mortgage underwriting experience, loan servicing track record and proprietary technology-enabled tools and processes, the company targets the demands of professional bridging finance borrowers, who frequently require rapid turnaround times. LendInvest believes it has filled a funding gap in the UK’s mortgage market. As at 31 March 2017, the total principal amount of loans provided by the Group since it commenced operations in 2008 (excluding extensions) was £811.34 million.

“It’s great to be working with Syndicate Room as one of our Authorised Offerors in what we think is a first tie-up of its kind between two fintech businesses,” indicated LendInvest Co-Founder & CEO Christian Faes. “The company’s partnership with the London Stock Exchange made SyndicateRoom a natural fit to join us for the deal. This is the first time we have seen newer fintech platforms working closely alongside the old guard of the investment management world to provide access to investment opportunities in this way, and it’s working well.”

The offer will close in SyndicateRoom’s platform on 2 August at midnight. The bond’s total offer period is expected to close on 4 August at noon.

LendInvest Launches New Retail Bond

LendInvest, a UK based online property finance marketplace, has recently announced the launch of a new Retail Bond, with a fixed interest rate of 5.25% due in 2022. LendInvest will continue to provide three other investment channels including their online investment marketplace for individuals to invest in prefunded loans as well as LendInvest Capital Funds.

LendInvest aims to create a cleaner, quicker and more flexible borrower experience for professional property investors and developers. LendInvest believes it is able to match the demands of professional bridging finance borrowers, who frequently require rapid turnaround times with their products. LendInvest believes it has filled a funding gap in the UK’s mortgage market. As at 31 March 2017, the total principal amount of loans provided by the Group since it commenced operations in 2008 (excluding extensions) was £811.34 million. 

The new Bonds have a minimum initial subscription amount of £2,000 and are available in multiples of £100 thereafter. The offer period opened on 19 July 2017 and is expected to close at 12 noon (GMT) on 4 August 2017. The Lead Manager retains the right to close the offer early, in conjunction with the Issuer and LendInvest. The Retail Bonds have a stated interest of 5.25% per year can be paid semi-annually. At any time while the bond is valid, it can be sold by investors on the open market.

LendInvest states the Bonds are expected to be listed on the UK Listing Authority’s Official List and admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s regulated market and through the electronic Order Book for Retail Bonds.

LendInvest boasts that since 2008, investments from both individuals and institutions have reached nearly £1 billion in loans. This money has allowed borrowers to either buy, build, or renovate over 2,700 properties in over 120 United Kingdom towns.

LendInvest has stated that their new Retail Bonds are available for retail investors and are being used to fund the purchase of loans which meet their eligibility criteria.

The offer period for these loans is open now and is expected to close by noon on August 4th.

The Co-founder and CEO of LendInvest Limited, Christian Faes, commented:

“In an era of record low interest rates coupled with constrained bank lending, LendInvest has developed a unique and compelling proposition for borrowers, through speed of execution and increased efficiency, and for investors, by offering access to a much sought after asset class delivering compelling returns. As we continue to scale the business, we’re increasingly looking to diversify our funding model and expand our capacity to lend to underserved borrowers, as well as to create new entry points to an attractive asset class that suits a broader range of investors seeking competitive risk-adjusted returns. The launch of this Bond allows us to achieve both of these ambitions, supporting future growth goals.”

Rod Lockhart, Managing Director, LendInvest Capital, called the launch of the retail bond as coming at a critical time when residential property demand is outstripping supply;

“The retrenchment of traditional lenders from short-term or small-scale property financing has created a fundamental lack of capital for professional property investors, but also an opportunity for competitive alternative lenders like LendInvest. We want to support more professional borrowers through our tried and tested model and excellent track record and the Retail Bond creates a whole new funding source which enables us to do so.”

LendInvest launched as a peer to peer lending platform targeting the commercial property sector. Since launch, the platform has become more complex adding features and services. LendInvest also happens to be one of the few profitable online lenders in the UK.

Empowering the Small-Scale Housebuilding Sector: LendInvest Property Development Academy Expands Course Offerings

LendInvest, a leading UK online property finance lender, is launching the LendInvest Property Development Academy in four more key cities around the country following overwhelming demand for its London & Southeast courses.

“There are no quick fixes to our national housing crisis, but by equipping more developers with sensible advice and tools to both get started on and complete their projects, we can empower the small-scale housebuilding sector to do more to deliver more homes onto UK streets,” indicated LendInvest Co-Founder & CEO Christian Faes.

In addition to three more courses for London & Southeast candidates this year, the Academy has expanded to:

  • Northern England: Manchester, 25 – 26 May
  • Scotland: Edinburgh, 22 – 23 June
  • Midlands: Birmingham, 7 – 8 September
  • Southwest England: Bristol, 9 – 10 November

While London courses are filled for the rest of 2017, applications are now open for all regional dates. All courses are carefully tailored to resonate with common issues facing developers in their respective regions. All modules are taught by industry specialists from the local area who will drawn on locally relevant case studies and anecdotal evidence.

“The Academy is a great initiative in an industry that’s crying out for better education and more help for would-be developers,” averred Tom Bloxham MBE, Founder of UrbanSplash and a past Academy speaker. “Perhaps if a course like this had existed when I first started out, I’d have avoided some of the many mistakes I made as I learned on the job.”

The LendInvest Property Development Academy was launched in September 2016 as a non-profit initiative to improve the skills of aspiring property developers whose projects can help to solve Britain’s major housing crisisThe LendInvest Property Development Academy was. The first Academy course was ten times oversubscribed and the Academy has received over 300 quality applications from around the country, according to the release.

The programme was established in collaboration with academics from the University of Reading and is supported by the Home Builders Federation. Selected attendees are taken through a series of modules designed to cover the lifetime of a development project – from evaluating sites and applying for planning, to appointing contractors and selling the end result.

 “The response to our London & Southeast Academy courses has been incredible and prompted us to accelerate plans to rollout nationwide. A key to the success so far has been the quality of the speakers the Academy attracts,” added Faes. “They are experts not only in their field but in their local region too. It’s important to our attendees that they hear from people that understand the problems they might be facing that are typical of their specific area. While overcoming planning may be a significant challenge in one region, opening up greenbelt land may create the worst hold-ups in another.”

Previous Academy courses have welcomed key industry figures as speakers including Tom Bloxham MBE, founder of property development firm Urban Splash, Pat McAllister, Professor of Real Estate at the University of Reading, and Kirsty Barnes, Partner and Head of Banking and Finance at Gowling WLG.  Yesterday LendInvest and Pepper UK  announced a new partnership in which Pepper UK will take all responsibility for servicing all new loans originated on the LendInvest platform.

LendInvest Partners with Pepper UK to Service All Loans

LendInvest and Pepper UK have formed a partnership where Pepper UK will take all responsibility for servicing all new loans originated on the LendInvest platform. Effectively, LendInvest has outsourced its entire loan servicing part of the business. The agreement should allow LendInvest to focus more directly on growing additional lending verticals while simultaneously building up the origination side of existing products more aggressively. LendInvest is the leading online commercial mortgage lender in the UK. Pepper UK is a specialist loan servicing company with over £10 billion in assets under management. Globally, Pepper manages over £32 billion in assets.

Richard Klemmer, CEO of Pepper UK, said his company had worked closely with LendInvest as it has expanded over the past twelve months.

“[We] are confident that with Pepper on board, the service and experience received today by LendInvest clients will only be enhanced by our long-term partnership.”

LendInvest said it will service existing loans until the autumn at which point these loans will be migrated to the Pepper team for continuity of service. All loans that require special servicing (like arrears) will continue to be handled by the LendInvest team.

LendInvest added that both borrowers and their advisers can expect to gain several benefits of the partnership. Interest may now be calculated daily, rather than monthly. Additionally, collaboration with Pepper supports LendInvest’s long-term strategy to bring to market an expanded range of tailored loan products that suit borrowers’ requirements at all stages of their property investment or development projects.

Christian Faes, co-founder & CEO of LendInvest, called the partnership an important stage of development for the LendInvest platform.

“Not only does working with Pepper improve our own operational efficiencies, but the partnership promises significant benefits for both borrowers and investors,” said Faes. “For instance, borrowers will have access to a deeply experienced and dedicated team of servicers throughout the term of their loans. Investors too will be comforted to know that our loans are serviced by a highly experienced and regulated servicer, making it easier for institutions in particular, to invest in whole portfolios of loans.“

LendInvest has recently announced several new credit products including; refurbishment loans, auction finance and development exit loans.

LendInvest Advocates Government Policy Change: “The UK Risks Losing Another Generation of Property Entrepreneurs”

LendInvest, an online property finance marketplace, is demanding the government to revise its treatment of small and medium-sized property investment and development companies. Noting that four in five SMEhouse builders have disappeared since last housebuilding boom, LendInvest is calling on the government to recognize the positive contribution they can make to resolving the UK’s deep-rooted housing crisis.

In a new report entitled Starting Small To Build More Homes: a blueprint for better policymaking for property SME market LendInvest shares industry evidence to examine the root cause – and subsequent impact – of challenges faced by property SMEs such as constrained access to finance and distorted policy around regulation, taxation and access to land.

Christian Faes, co-founder & CEO of LendInvest, explained;

“80% of small-scale developers have gone out of business since the last housebuilding boom. That’s an appalling statistic. It’s meant less employment, less entrepreneurialism and fewer new homes on British streets where large-scale housebuilders didn’t pick up the slack. Decades of successive governments’ under-investment and muted decisions, coupled with a planning system that defaults to favouring larger sites over small ones has cumulatively left UK housing in a dire situation. The Housing White Paper showed us there are no quick fixes, but incremental improvements can and must be made.”

Faes said it was imperative that the government encourage careers in property and that these businesses need to know they will be treated the same as startups in other sectors.

“Failing that, we risk losing another generation of property entrepreneurs. That mustn’t happen. It’s time to mix small-scale housebuilders into the debate and give them the chance to help get Britain building,” said Faes.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Four in five housebuilders have gone out of business since the last housebuilding boom
    By returning to the same level of market plurality as in 2007, we could build 25,000 more homes every year
  • Small housebuilders were responsible for 3 in 8 of the UK’s new homes before 1990, today they only deliver 1 in 8
  • The British Business Bank has yet to allocate funding for property firms
  • The Homes & Communities Agency must lend a weighty £56m a month to achieve its target to supply £3 billion of housebuilding finance by March 2021

The report also includes the social and economic contributions that property investment and development SMEs make locally and nationally, and makes recommendations to end a protracted preference by the government for muted support of this industry sector.

LendInvest recommends:

  • Mandate state-backed finance bodies, like the British Business Bank and Homes & Communities Agency, to begin or accelerate the provision of funding to property SMEs
    Apportion a quota of public land for sale only to SMEs
  • Simplify tax burdens to help property SMEs reinvest capital into business development
  • Initiate a strategy to boost competition by enlisting cooperation of the offices of the Housing and Small Business Ministers

And Marc Vlessing, CEO of Pocket Living, the property SME, commented on the findings in the report;

“It is no coincidence that as the number of SME developers has declined so too has the number of homes built. A renaissance of SME firms like Pocket utilising modern methods of construction on smaller, often overlooked, land plots will be crucial to helping solve our housing crisis. The Government has laid the foundations for this renaissance through the Home Builders’ Fund but we still have some way to go. Simplifying the tax system, ring-fencing some public sector land for SMEs and making it simpler for them to access capital would all help to unleash the potential of the SME builder.”

The report is embedded below.

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