Plend supports the UK’s leading social lending platform


Plend, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup, said on Monday it had secured £ 700,000 in pre-seed funding. While P2P loans are more common in the United States, fintech is the first to introduce the concept of a social lending platform – a market where users can support each other with credit – in the UK.

The company aims to fight against financial exclusion in the fifth largest economy in the world. According to Financial Inclusion Commission, over 13 million people in the UK – almost 20% of the population – do not have access to affordable credit.

Plend uses Open Banking to access a person’s transaction history in order to offer a loan rather than basing loan rates on credit scores. Currently, in the UK, access to financial products is based on their credit rating – determined by factors such as if you have a mortgage, how many times you have changed your address, and even if your voters list matches your current address.

Plend defends his own alternative: the Plend Score, which he hopes will be a less biased and less exclusive system in the long run than the UK’s current credit scoring system.

Pasco says they’re not looking to tackle the main market or the buy now, pay later sphere (BNPL) – “Klarna has it all covered.”

“The consumer credit market is huge, worth around £ 220 billion right now.”

Co-founder Rob Pasco said he felt the limits of the UK’s current credit system when he left New Zealand around nine years ago.

“I had a good job in London, but I couldn’t borrow for the first two years,” says Pasco. “When I could borrow it was a credit card… and as my career progressed my credit score never really did – it was always bad enough. ”

Pasco underwent debt management that helped him restructure his debts. Since then, he has no more debt for the past three years, but cannot access credit for the next six years.

“A lot of Plend tries to fix these issues before they get to this point,” he says.

Plend sees itself as primarily competing with Lendable, a London-based digital lender backed by Goldman Sachs. In March 2021, the startup became a Unicorn following a secondary sale.

Pasco says they’re not looking to tackle the core market or the BNPL sphere – “Klarna has it all covered.”

Instead, Plend will tackle longer-term, goal-oriented lending.

“Goals could include vacations, debt consolidation, home improvement – things that require a little more capital.”

“So the goals could include vacations, debt consolidation, home improvement – things that require a little more capital than a few 100 pounds to get through the month,” Pasco explains.

Plend co-founders Rob Pasco and James Pursail.

The tour was led by Tomahawk VC and is a departure from the The usual business of Swiss VC. Previously, the VC dipped its toes into continent-based DeFi and fintech startups. Plend is his first UK-based business – and his first in a more traditional industry such as lending.

Other investors include Nationwide Building Society’s NBS Ventures, Ascension and Haatch incubator.

Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, also joined as president earlier this year and invested in the business.

Lang says, “I immediately became excited about the vision [of the cofounders]. Their energy, passion and determination to change credit for the better using open banking is contagious. ”

While the lending start-up is currently focused on the UK market, “the consumer credit market is huge, worth around £ 220bn at the moment” – Lang says many of these issues persist in the UK as well. Europe.

The platform is expected to launch early next year in the UK after securing FCA regulations.

Tom Matsuda is a writing intern at Sifted. He tweets from @_tommatsuda.


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