Chinese technology company Beijing Kunlun just invested £22 million ($US34.2 million) in peer-to-peer mortgage lender LendInvest in the biggest Series A round so far in British fintech.
LendInvest’s mortgage marketplace matches people looking for quick, short-term mortgage funding with people hoping to get a better return on the money they lend. Because online lenders let savers lend money directly, borrowers pay less interest, and lenders get a better return.
The company was officially launched in May 2013, when it was spun out of short-term mortgage lending business Montello. Since then, it has financed over £300 million worth of mortgages.
Cutting out the middleman lets LendInvest give both sides a better rate, CEO Christopher Faes told Business Insider, and means that they can get applicants their money in just two weeks, compared to the three months banks usually take.
He added: “LendInvest are re-thinking the whole mortgage process, and using technology to provide an unrivalled experience for borrowers, and a superior return for investors. Peer-to-peer is a relatively broad church, and it has made significant inroads in the consumer and SME lending space already, and now we’re using it to disrupt the mortgage market in the UK.”
A Financial Times report hinted that an IPO might be on the cards in the next year. Faes told us that he can confirm the company would like to move towards one, but an IPO is not something that’s imminent.
Chinese technology company Beijing Kunlun was listed on the Shenzen Stock Exchange earlier this year, and was originally backed by Sequoia Capital. The company’s self-made billionaire CEO, Yahui Zhou, will also join LendInvest’s board of directors.
Beijing Kunlun’s investment in LendInvest, however, is still subject to regulatory approval by the Chinese government.