Today, London-based ethical lender Plend announced it has raised £40m in funding with new investors including Leon & Soho House backers Active Partners, plus Velocity Juice, Sivo and the founders from Monzo, Starling Bank and Oodle Car Finance.
The round includes existing pre-seed investors: Ascension, Tomahawk VC, DD Venture Capital and Haatch who have doubled-down on their original commitments in the wake of post-launch growth and above expected loan performance.
The round is a vote of confidence in Plend’s mission to rebuild the outdated and backward credit system, which discriminates against applicants based on historic and limited data rather than what someone can truly afford.
As UK consumers struggle to keep up with the changing economic climate and rising interest rates, increasing numbers are locked out of traditional credit and are turning to Plend who use open banking to build an accurate picture of their actual financial position. The investment will be used to help scale the business into 2023, focusing on acquisition of new customers via new partners and reaching new audiences who find themselves excluded from the current credit system.
Following its launch in July 2022, over £40m of loan applications have been processed through the consumer lending platform and the loan book is increasing 20% month on month. With the recent funding and newly formed partnerships with Monevo and ClearScore, Plend is ramping up to more than double its lending by end of year.
Plend enables wider access to truly affordable loans and so far has helped 70% of its customers with debt restructuring as households across the UK search out better ways to manage their finances. Plend also launched its first fully embedded ‘green finance’ product this year, supporting customers with low interest loans to purchase green energy installations such as solar panels and heat pumps via its partnership with MakeMyHouseGreen.
Rob Pasco, CEO and Co-founder of Plend, said: “This new round of funding caps off an amazing year for Plend. Since launching our first affordable credit product to consumers this year, we have been able to help so many people get access to the money they need to get on with their lives at affordable and fair rates. We are thrilled to be working with our newest investment partners to provide a truly ethical alternative to the broken credit scoring system that locks so many people out of the market, especially during these times of economic turbulence and rising interest rates.”
Nick Green, Seed Investor at Active Partners said: “We’re delighted to be investing in Plend. With their innovative technology, they are creating a fairer lending environment and improving the lives of many consumers currently burdened with high-interest loans. Rob, James, and the team have impressed us with their passion, creativity and ambition and we look forward to supporting them in their next stage of growth.”
Emma Steele, Partner at Ascension, added: “Everyone deserves equal access to financial services and a chance to unlock their ambition, which is why paving the way for an affordable alternative to the flawed credit system is so important. Plend’s work to offer sustainable loans at fair interest rates has been impressive in a short amount of time and we are excited to see more going into 2023.”
As the UK’s first Pending B Corp consumer lender, and being authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Plend is creating a more financially inclusive way to lend built from their proprietary open banking technology, the PLEND Score®.