by Ingrid Lunden, Funding Circle, an online marketplace that connects small businesses looking for loans with individuals and institutions willing to lend money, has picked up a significant round of funding of its own. The startup, founded in 2009 in London and more recently active in the U.S., has raised $65 million — money that co-founder and CEO Samir Desai tells me it will use to continue to improve its technology, as well as build out further into the U.S. and new markets, likely via acquisitions of other, regional online lending platforms.
Sam Hodges, Funding Circle
The $65 million round getting announced today is Funding Circle’s biggest to-date and puts the total raised by the company at $123 million. It’s a Series D round and was led by Index Ventures, with participation from other existing investors, Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital. Why so much, and only nine months after its last, $37-million, round? “It’s a testament to the market opportunity,” Desai says. “It’s a very, very fast-growing business.” The UK business, he tells me, has been growing at 150% a year over the past four years, with the current rate of loans accelerating rapidly. Of the more than £350 million ($600 million) loan in that time, nearly £150 million was loaned out this year.
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