Peer-to-peer lender Flender has just raised millions to lend to small businesses

The Dublin-based firm is on a quest to hit a much larger €50 million round.

By Jonathan Keane Reporter, Fora

PEER-TO-PEER LENDING PLATFORM Flender has secured €10 million to lend to small businesses and startups.

Dublin-based Flender allows businesses to borrow from and lend funds to one another. The funding is part of a wider €50 million debt financing round that the company is currently raising.

This latest investment was led by French asset management firm Eiffel Investment Group, which has also backed other alternative financing startups like BLender.

Chief executive Kristjan Koik said the injection of capital will help Flender operate faster in dealing out loans to small businesses.

“The new financing will be used to approve and fund deals more quickly, with a same-day decision for most borrowers, as well as allowing SME access to increased funding,” he said.

Flender will increase the maximum loan amount of the platform from €100,000 to €200,000, he said. One in seven applicants get approved for loans on Flender, according to the company, with more than 3,900 lenders active on the service.

4172124 Kristjan Koik
Source: Vimeo/Flender

The company also plans to expand into new products such as property and asset backed peer-to-peer finance.

Alternative funding

Koik said Flender provides an alternative financing route for small businesses that are under-served by banks, with returns for the lender.

“For the lender, there is the proposition of better interest rates and access to an alternative asset class of investments, traditionally available only to institutional investors,” he said.

The startup raised its first phase of money in the UK, where it is authorised, through equity crowdfunding, raising £500,000.

It has previously raised funds from Enterprise Ireland and several individual backers including former Irish rugby international Jamie Heaslip, who serves as brand ambassador for the startup, and Future Finance co-founder Brian Norton.

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