UK-based peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle is to expand into Europe with a deal to acquire German lender Zencap.
The agreement gives Funding Circle a foothold in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, alongside its existing operations in the UK and US.
Launched by Rocket Internet in March 2014, Zencap has experienced strong growth over the past 18 months with more than €35 million lent to approximately 520 businesses.
Since launching in 2010, Funding Circle has raised $273 million in equity funding from investors such as DST, BlackRock, Temasek and Index Ventures and moved into the US market through the acquisition of local player Endurance Lending Network. In April, it raised a further $150 million and announced that Jerome Le Luel, previously head of credit analytics at Barclays would join the team as global chief risk officer.
The company claims to have helped 12,000 businesses access more than $1.5 billion of finance in the UK and US since launch.
Samir Desai CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle says: “By coming together we combine Funding Circle’s leading position in the UK and US with Zencap’s deep understanding of local markets to create the first truly global marketplace lending platform.”