Funding Circle, an online marketplace for business loans, has raised $150 million in a financing round led by DST Capital.
Baillie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRock, Sands Capital Ventures and Temasek also participated in the oversubscribed round, the funds of which will be used to consolidate Funding Circle's place in the UK and US and "fuel further growth".
The hefty investment is the latest sign of surging interest in the P2P lending sector, coming on the heels of Lending Club's IPO and a recent £165 million financing round for Prosper, which was led by Credit Suisse and supported by a clutch of top banks.
Launched in the UK in 2010, Funding Circle offers a platform for small businesses to access finance and investors to make loans. It now claims to be the fifth largest net lender to small businesses in the country and has even been used by the government to distribute funds.
In 2013 the firm entered the US market through the acquisition of local player Endurance Lending Network and has been rapidly growing. In the first quarter of this year lending was seven times larger than in Q1 2014. Projections for global lending this year are in the region of $1 billion.
Samir Desai, CEO, Funding Circle, says: "Today’s news is the next step on our journey to creating a sustainable, category-defining business in a multi-billion dollar global market, where businesses will come to the marketplace to borrow from all types of investors. This investment, alongside prudent risk management, will ensure Funding Circle’s long term future."
Meanwhile, the company has appointed the former CEO and CTO of Betfair, David Yu as global chief product officer, and Chitra Nayak, ex-chief operating officer of platform at Salesforce, as US COO.