Peer-to-peer lender Assetz Capital has funded 60% more loan facilities in the last year than its previous five years combined, bringing its total amount lent to UK businesses to £820m in its six years since founding.
Since 2013, the firm has provided a range of alternative finance products to businesses and property developers in the UK, including commercial mortgages, secured SME term loans, development finance, bridging finance and residential refurbishment loans.
Over just the last 12 months, the majority of money lent by Assetz has been in the form of development finance loans. Across 147 deals in total, the firm has provided £170m worth of investment, which has led to the construction of 1,706 homes; one in 100 of all new UK homes built during this period. This brings the total number of new homes funded by Assetz and its investors to 4,000.
Additionally, over the course of the past year, Assetz has funded 124 commercial mortgages, valued at £63m in total. Prior to this, Assetz had lent £84m worth of commercial mortgages since its inception, meaning it has increased loan facilities extended in this category by 75% in a single year.
To account for the growing number of enquiries across the country, some £6bn per year, Assetz has expanded its presence across the UK with the appointment of additional relationship directors in the past 12 months. Shami Sharma joined in January to cover the South East region, whilst David Reed has recently taken on the role in Yorkshire.
Assetz has seen a significant increase in the number of investors on its platform, which now stands at 34,800. The firm has also added a new Assetz-branded private Luxembourg fund for institutional investors, in collaboration with a specialist marketplace lending fund manager. The fund gives institutional investors and family offices an additional and dedicated channel to invest in loans on the Assetz marketplace and is in addition to other institutional investment lines including banks.
Stuart Law, CEO and founder of Assetz Capital, said: “In recent years, peer-to-peer loans have become more popular amongst the underserved small and medium business owners across the UK, acting as an increasingly sought-after alternative to bank loans. Banks have stepped back from this middle ground of £200k-£10m secured loans and in particular from SME house builders, where the cost of originating and servicing these loans, or the cost of capital has driven them from this large sector. Beyond micro-businesses there are around 250,000 small and medium sized companies that we serve and who have been most badly hit by the retreat from this sector by banks. Having added £300m to our lending balance in only one year, we are rapidly approaching the £1bn total lending milestone, and we expect to maintain this momentum for the rest of the year.
“In order to increase lending further, we have invested resource in the development of unique products and growing our regional relationship director team to provide face to face service and loan structuring. We plan to introduce more innovative solutions to meet the ever-changing demands from borrowers and intermediaries, and continue to grow our market share in the alternative lending space.”