Funding Knight bought by GLI Finance

June 29th, 2016
FundingKnight

Funding Knight was placed into administration on 28th June and immediately bought by GLI for £750,000 with the promise of a further £1million of capital to finance ongoing operations.

GLI Finance is a specialist provider of finance to small and medium sized enterprises.  Its ordinary shares are quoted on the AIM (GLIF) and its issued zero dividend preference shares are listed and traded on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (GLIZ).  The loans are provided to SMEs through a variety of finance platforms in which GLI Finance has an equity stake.

The platforms in which GLI Finance is invested vary by geography, industry, size of lending and by type of lending. They include Global trade Finance, UK and US SME Lending, Offshore Lending, UK invoice discounting, European invoice discounting, Global multi-asset crowd funding and UK property-backed lending.

GLI Finance's ordinary shares closed virtually unchanged on the day, but has fallen from a peak of 58p in July 2015 to a low of 22.1p on Monday 27th June.  The ordinary share price closed at 28.75p before the result of the EU referendum was announced.

Here is the press release on the London Stock Exchange:

The board of GLI announced in its strategic review update released on 16 February 2016 that it had not been possible to agree a way forward between GLI and FundingKnight, an online peer to peer lending platform. As a result, GLI became a passive investor with respect to its interests in Funding Knight Holdings Limited ("FKH"), the holding company for the FundingKnight group. These include a 23.4% interest in FKH's issued ordinary share capital with a carrying value of £2.481 million, a £1.001 million investment in FKH's preference share capital together with accrued interest of £0.290 million thereon and £0.525 million of loans provided by GLI to FKH.

On 28 June 2016, Greg Palfrey and Steve Adshead of Smith & Williamson LLP ("S&W") were appointed as administrators to FKH. The board of GLI is pleased to announce that, shortly after S&W's appointment, the Company agreed to acquire the respective entire issued share capitals of Funding Knight Limited ("FundingKnight", FKH's operating subsidiary) along with FKH's other subsidiaries, Funding Knight Services Limited and Funding Knight Corporate Services Limited, both of which are dormant (the "Acquisition"). Consideration of £0.75 million was paid in cash at completion of the Acquisition. As part of the terms of the Acquisition, GLI has also committed to provide Funding Knight with at least £1 million of further capital to finance its ongoing operations.

Funding Knight recorded unaudited turnover and a post-tax loss of approximately £0.61 million and £1.17 million respectively in the financial year ended 31 March 2016. FundingKnight's unaudited net assets at 31 March 2016 were approximately £0.13 million. £0.45 million of the consideration for the Acquisition will be applied by S&W in partial settlement of the Company's loan to FKH. The remainder of GLI's interests in FKH will be written down to £nil in the Company's balance sheet.

Andy Whelan, CEO of GLI said

"We believe FundingKnight is a fundamentally good business with strategic value. By acquiring the business at a low entry price, we will help secure the continued employment of the FundingKnight team and provide reassurance to the investors in FundingKnight loans and FundingKnight's SME client base that have existing loans or are seeking to borrow. In the medium term, we will be seeking to maximise the potential of FundingKnight in a way which is consistent with our strategic plans."

Landbay close fixed rate product

June 17th, 2016
Landbay

Landbay, one of the leading peer-to-peer companies, has closed its fixed rate product.  Lenders who have enabled the Auto Reinvest option will have any funds lent on on the LIBOR tracker, which offers a lower rate of interest.  We hope this is only a short-term change.

Here is the email send to lenders:

Due to an influx in demand for our Fixed Rate product, we regret to inform you that this product is currently unavailable for new investment.

This doesn’t affect your current Fixed Rate investment, but if you have funds in the Fixed Rate product with the auto-reinvest option switched on, in order to prevent you losing out on any interest we will auto-reinvest your funds from next month into our Tracker Product that has an annualised interest rate of 4.0%.

Our Tracker Rate product has a number of features designed to give you a solid return, at a variable rate of interest:

  • Your rate of interest is 3.35% pa above LIBOR* (London Interbank Offered Rate). When LIBOR changes, your Tracker Rate changes too.
  • Withdraw or sell your funds on our secondary market at any time. Withdrawals typically take 1-2 days and are dependent on funds being available to replace your investment.

You will still be able to request a withdrawal from the Fixed Rate product via our Secondary Market. We currently have more pending demand for this product than anticipated withdrawals. When we have new Fixed Rate loans available for investment, or if the demand for withdrawals from the product approaches the current demand for investment, we will reopen the product for investment.

As always, withdrawals are dependent on the reallocation of your loan parts to new investments, via our secondary market.

We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause, and if you’d like to discuss your investment please contact us. We’re here to answer any questions you may have.

If you do not wish for your interest to be automatically reinvested into the Tracker product please log in to your account and switch your ‘Auto Reinvest’ setting to ‘Off’.

Folk2Folk pass £100million mark

June 7th, 2016
Folk2Folk

Leading P2P provider Folk2Folk have joined the select club of peer-to-peer companies that have lent more that £100million.  Based in Cornwall the company has a growing high street presence as well as the internet.  To date Folk2Folk has not experienced any defaults.

Here is the full press release:

Following a strong start to 2016 Folk2Folk, a leading peer-to-peer lending company, is pleased to announce that it has passed the £100 million milestone of loans funded, highlighting the success that the company has enjoyed since it launched in 2013.  The milestone demonstrates the strong demand in the company’s platform as Lenders and Borrowers are attracted by Folk2Folk’s simple, secure and transparent model.

Folk2Folk brings together investors seeking attractive and secured returns, and borrowers looking for access to affordable capital to develop and grow their business.  The company has seen a huge inflow of investment over the last 12 months and has introduced funding to hundreds of businesses.  More than 70% of Folk2Folk investors are repeat lenders, demonstrating the strength of Folk2Folk’s product and the confidence lenders have in the company.

In addition to passing the £100 million milestone, Folk2Folk has launched a recruitment campaign to help with its long term growth strategy and national expansion.  Folk2Folk has appointed a new Head of Business Development and Sales, Matt Waterfield, to help widen the company’s reach and deepen its professional networks throughout the country.  Matt brings with him a wealth of financial services experience, having previously held the position of General Manager for the Middle East & Africa for Friends Provident International, an Aviva company providing investment and savings products, for over a decade.

Matt represents the first of up to 10 appointments planned in 2016 which will allow Folk2Folk to further their strong operational progress, and build on the successes that have taken place over the past year – increasing their lending by over 100% in 2015, launching its national Legal Panel, and winning the AltFi Best Lending Platform for Small Businesses Award 2015.  As part of its national expansion, the company also plans to open a further branch before the end of 2016.

Folk2Folk’s Chief Executive Officer, Jane Dumeresque, said: “We are delighted to pass the £100 million milestone, which demonstrates both the strength of demand from lenders and borrowers and their confidence in our product.  We take great pleasure in knowing that Folk2Folk has facilitated funding for many small businesses, helping them realise their ambitions.  It is an exciting time for Folk2Folk and this achievement represents only the start as we continue to grow and drive the business forward.”

Folk2Folk has facilitated millions of pounds of local investment by introducing lenders to borrowers in various industries including renewable energy, house building, agriculture, leisure facilities and land and property acquisition.  The funding has helped to deliver a broad range of projects encompassing farm diversification, property development, equestrian centres, wedding venues, and golf courses.

Proplend reduce minimum lending amount

May 26th, 2016
Proplend

Peer-to-peer company Proplend have announced they are reducing their minimum lending amount to £1000.  This brings Proplend into line with other companies such as ThinCats, and should encourage more lenders onto the platform.

Here is the full press release:

PROPLEND REDUCES INVESTMENT MINIMUM TO £1,000

London, 26 May 2016: Proplend Ltd, the UK’s specialist in commercial property peer-to-peer lending and pioneer of the P2P Loan Tranche Model, are pleased to announce that they have reduced the minimum loan investment amount to £1,000 with immediate effect.

Proplend anticipates that the reduction from £5,000 to £1,000 will broaden their investor base through a lower entry level and enable existing investors to further diversify their investments on the platform.

To kick start the new £1,000 minimum investment, a limited number of £1,000 loan parts have been made immediately available on the Proplend Loan Exchange (PLE). Two of our previous loans, Newcastle Business Park and Croydon Office Block, offer investors returns from 5.93% to 9.75% pa (before fees, bad debts and taxes), across the three tranches. New loan investment opportunities will also be listed on the platform in the coming weeks.

Brian Bartaby, Founder & CEO, commented: “This change has been primarily driven by investor demand. We were being approached by lenders who were very attracted to the stable returns offered from investing in commercial property backed P2P loans through the Proplend platform, but who found the initial investment level of £5,000 too high. Separately, we were also conscious that looking forward to investing within an ISA wrapper, the £5,000 minimum investment level would not offer investors an acceptable level of portfolio diversification. We look forward to welcoming a broader base of investors to Proplend and will continue to offer them attractive rates of asset-backed, risk-adjusted returns.” 

Moving forward, all new loans will be split into £1,000 loan parts. Investors can access attractive rates of risk-adjusted returns from as little as £1,000 and thereafter in £1,000 increments. The maximum investment in any particular loan is limited only by the amount remaining; loans vary in size, loan to value, term and location. Investors can choose, on a deal by deal basis, which loan to invest into and then which loan-to-value based tranche of that loan.

About Proplend

Proplend is an online marketplace for secured commercial mortgages, where all the loans are supported by a registered legal first charge on an income producing commercial property. Proplend makes it possible for interest rates being offered by borrowers to be earned directly by lenders, circumventing the traditional banking system and creating a new asset class. Proplend allows private individuals and institutions direct access to commercial real estate lending opportunities. Borrowers gain access to funding which is not otherwise currently available and lenders get the opportunity to earn risk adjusted monthly income.

Proplend’s simple, secure and transparent platform connects investors directly to borrowers with loans secured against UK income producing Commercial Property.  Proplend is dedicated to transparency and always ensures that investors have all the information they require to make informed investment decisions. Investors lend on a deal by deal basis, choosing their Loan Investments from Loans listed on the Proplend Loan Exchange or Loans In Funding. Proplend was the first UK peer-to-peer lending platform to offer different loans tranches, giving investors the ability to select a level based on their risk and return profile. To learn more visit www.proplend.com.

SAVY peer-to-peer lending conference

March 22nd, 2016
SAVY

After a successful debut in 2015, Lithuanian based peer-to-peer lending company SAVY are running another peer-to-peer lending conference on the 23rd March.

Guest speakers from all over the world, including the co-founder of LendIt Conference Jason Jones and leaders of top P2P lending companies in the three Baltic states – Bondora (Oliver Reinsalu), Mintos (Martins Sulte) and SAVY (Vytautas Zabulis), among others, will all be participating in the conference.

A number of highly anticipated panel discussions are also on the agenda and it will touch some important topics related to the prospects, challenges and trends for Alternative Financing both on a local and global scale.

With a sizeable atendance this conference is also being broadcast live and can be watched on YouTube.