Funding Circle buys German peer-to-peer lender Zencap to kick off European expansion

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Funding Circle has expanded its empire into Europe by snapping up German peer-to-peer lender Zencap.

The London-based firm, one of the largest peer-to-peer lenders, bought the 18-month-old company from Rocket Internet, a Berlin-based start-up incubator and Europe’s most valuable tech company by market capitalisation.

The company has chosen to rebrand Zencap, which has operations in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, rather than keep it as a separate business.

Lower overheads mean start-ups such as Funding Circle can afford to offer small businesses loans at better rates than the high-street banks.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Funding Circle’s co-founder and chief executive Samir Desai said: “Our vision is to help millions of businesses across the world sidestep the outdated and inefficient banking system and borrow from investors. Today’s news is the next exciting stage of this journey. 

“We have been hugely impressed with what the Zencap team have achieved so far. By coming together we combine Funding Circle’s leading position in the UK and US with Zencap’s deep understanding of local markets to create the first truly global marketplace lending platform.”

Last month, the company became the first peer-to-peer lender to tap public markets when it announced the float of an SME fund to raise £150 million, which will be invested in small businesses in the UK and the US which use its lending platform.

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October 20, 2015 |
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