Scottish SMEs are getting a boost from the country’s first crowdfunding platform, which has raised nearly £1m in just six months.
Launched in September, LendingCrowd helps fast-growing businesses get access to cash and has signed up over 500 investors. Funders bid against one another to invest in SMEs at a range of risk levels, earning returns of between 5.95% and 12.25% on investments from £20 up to tens of thousands.
Co-founder and CEO Stuart Lunn says that the company has “ambitious” plans for 2015, adding that, as Scotland’s only dedicated peer-to-peer lender, the platform can help to support emerging businesses and sectors that are local-specific.
However, he said that he hopes that, after the 2015 elections, the government will also look to improve existing rules to better support both small business growth and encourage investment.
“We are hoping that increases in personal allowances and pension reforms will give people more options to invest extra funds they may have and Peer-to-Business crowdlending is one of many options for reinvesting capital,” he said. “For example, from April, many future retirees will have the option to take out and reinvest a lump sum from their pension into a P2P investment of their choosing.”
Current growth rates suggest that the alternative finance market in the UK will be worth around £4.4 billion by the end of the year.