UK fintech unicorn Funding Circle has surpassed the milestone of lending £1bn to thousands of small businesses across the UK.
The peer-to-peer lender, now the third biggest in the UK for small business loans, racked up £500m in loans this year, bringing the total lent since it started in 2010 to more than £1bn.
More than 40,000 investors have lent money to small businesses in that time, earning them more than £55m in net interest. It's estimated the business investment resulted in the creation of nearly 50,000 new jobs, according to Nesta.
The startup landed a new round of funding in April which valued it at more than one billion dollars, putting it among an exclusive club of startups worth that and known as unicorns. It was the biggest fintech funding deal of 2015 in a year of record investment in the sector.
"We’re committed to creating opportunities for small businesses that didn’t exist before. For too long, they were reliant on a single line of credit from traditional providers," said co-founder and managing director James Meekings. "We’re building the infrastructure where any investor, big or small, can lend. We want to become the first choice for small business finance by making small business lending faster and easier than ever before.”
Funding Circle isn't stopping there either. It acquired German lender Zencap in October to fuel European expansion plans. Globally, across Europe, the UK and US, Funding Circle has lent £1.8bn.