Finding a lender who will work with them is not easy for small businesses. Even when they are successful and profitable companies that just need cash to expand a model that has already proved itself. That was the experience of Sam Hodges, co-founder of Funding Circle. Hodges owned a successful chain of fitness gyms but wasn’t able to find a lender that would offer him a loan with reasonable terms to expand his business. After opening his 96th loan rejection letter, he realized there was something wrong with how the small business loan sector operated and set out to build a better solution: an online marketplace for small business loans.
In 2013, he merged his business with Funding Circle, which had found early success in the UK. Today, Funding Circle is the world’s leading online marketplace for small business loans. It has lent over $1 billion to more than 10,000 small businesses in the UK and US since it was founded in 2010.
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Funding Circle is not a bank. It is a marketplace that matches accredited and institutional investors with businesses that want to borrow by providing them with a solid platform that takes care of risk assessment, the underwriting of loans and the management of payments. As of August 2015, it has over 40,000 investors registered to fund small business loans.
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