Tuesday 19 February 2019

Flender closes in on £2m funding round

Jeremy Davies Betancourt, Kris Koik, Oli Cavanagh of Flender. Photo: Tadhg Conway
Jeremy Davies Betancourt, Kris Koik, Oli Cavanagh of Flender. Photo: Tadhg Conway
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Dublin-based peer-to-peer lending business Flender is close to raising more than €2m in its latest funding round.

Some €400,000 of the money has been raised from its own platform - the first peer-to-peer equity investment on an Irish platform. Terms are close to being agreed for the remaining balance of a £2m (€2.25m) round The equity raised from the crowdfunding platform is structured as a series of convertible loan notes. The notes convert into shares either after 12 months, or when the rest of the equity round closes which the company expects shortly.

Chief executive Kristjan Koik said the company will look at making the equity-raising service available to other businesses if they are interested in it. "In the UK, platforms like Seedrs and Crowdcube do run these kinds of campaigns [raising equity via crowdfunding].

"Nobody in Ireland is doing it so if there is demand then we would definitely look at it although our core business at the moment is lending rather than equity-raise campaigns.

"We've been very focused in terms of what we want to do and we will continue to be focused on this. Lending and bringing cheaper finance to SMEs, while letting the public earn a good return."

The company has recently added property-backed peer-to-peer loans to its system.

"Borrowers knocking on our door and the lenders who are participating want a different type of product. So we listened to them, and what they wanted was asset-backed finance.

"There's a huge gap in the market for developers looking for finance between €500,000 and €1m. The mezzanine finance guys and the banks, they want to look at deals of €2m and up."

The company, initially focused on Ireland and the UK, raised £500,000 earlier this year. It is looking at expanding to Spain and Eastern European markets in future.

Backers of the business include Ding founder Mark Roden.

Sunday Indo Business

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