It was a landmark day for fintech in London as Funding Circle became the first UK marketplace lender to complete an IPO. The company raised £300 million at a valuation of around £1.5 billion. They began trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: FCH) this morning with an initial price of 440 pence (at the lower end of the forecasted price range of 420p to 530p). While rising early in the day to 460p it closed the exactly flat at 440p.
While you couldn’t call that a blockbuster first day it wasn’t too bad and we have learned from the experience of LendingClub and OnDeck in the US that a great first day really means nothing as to the long term prospects for the share price.
Funding Circle has become a force in small business lending in the UK. In 2017 they were the largest net lender to small businesses in the UK surpassing even the largest banks. They also have substantial lending operations in the US, Germany and the Netherlands with total lending to date over $7 billion globally. They have made it clear that they intend to continue to expand their geographic footprint as time goes on. There is no other lender in all of marketplace lending that has such a large international business outside their home country.
Here is what CEO Samir Desai said in an official statement today: [Read more…]