Funding Circle, the British peer-to-peer lender, has lent more than £1 billion ($1.5 billion) to small and medium sized businesses in the UK since launching in 2010.
In 2015 alone, investors used Funding Circle’s technology to hand businesses more than £500 million, and the company expects to lend at least another £1 billion in 2016, according to a report in the Financial Times.
The company is succeeding because of the the ease with which people can lend and borrow money using their platform, according to UK managing director, and co-founder James Meekings.
“Over the last five years, the Funding Circle marketplace model has proved to be a more efficient way for businesses to access the finance they need to grow and expand,” Meekings said in statement, adding that more than 12,000 British companies have used the platform since it launched.
“We are 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,” Meekings added.
Funding Circle has expanded pretty aggresively since launching in 2010. In 2013 the company broke into the American market by merging with San Francisco based lender, Endurance Lending, and in October this year, the company bought German lender Zencap, giving it a presence in Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.
While passing £1 billion in lending is clearly a pretty big milestone for Funding Circle, they’re still a fair way from reaching their ultimate goal. In October, Funding Circle’s co-founder and global CEO Samir Desai told Business Insider’s Oscar Williams-Grut that the company wants to eventually lend $100 billion per year through its platform.
Funding Circle — alongside money transfer business TransferWise — is one of the UK’s highest profile financial technology, or fintech, businesses. The company is one of the few tech “unicorns” based in the UK — start-up businesses valued at more than $1 billion (£680 million). Silicon Valley is awash with “unicorns”, but they are substantially rarer in the UK.
The company isn’t profitable yet, but says that that’s because they’re investing so heavily in growth, Desai told Business Insider. It lost £19.4 million in 2014, according to the Financial Times.