Funding Circle is the latest marketplace lender to announce a large financing round. The $150 million equity round was led by DST Global, Ballie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRock, Sands Capital Ventures and Temasek. The company also recently crossed $1 billion in originations and are doing $75 million per month across the US and UK.
I spoke with Sam Hodges, co-founder of Funding Circle to learn more about what this means for the company. He noted that the core areas they want to invest in are technology, systems and hiring great people. They also want to add and invest in departments such as data analytics and risk. Although they didn’t need to raise the money as they are substantially well capitalized, Sam said that they saw an opportunity to bring in a great new set of shareholders. This influx of cash and talent to the team will allow them to expand more quickly than planned.
Funding Circle also added some new faces to the team who have backgrounds in technology, small business acquisition and experience at the senior executive level. Chitra Nayak, previously COO of Salesforce’s Platform business will join as COO and David Yu, previously CEO and CTO of Betfair will join Funding Circle as Global CPO.
I also asked Sam about valuation since the round may have pushed them into the $1 billion valuation range, but Sam declined to comment. He was excited to announce the fresh investment and noted that the investors are global, long term equity investors that round out the VCs that have invested already.
This round validates Funding Circle as a major player in the small business lending space as they continue to grow originations exponentially and partner with investors.