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Chancellor hails £82m investment in Funding Circle as 'vote of confidence'

A group of investors has pumped 100 million US dollars (£82 million) into peer-to-peer business lending platform Funding Circle, a move which the Government has said is a "vote of confidence" for the firm.

Led by venture capital firm Accel, the equity investment round saw participation from Edinburgh-based asset manager Baillie Gifford, Singapore's state investment company Temasek, as well as DST Global, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Rocket Internet, Sands Capital Ventures and Union Square Ventures.

It brings Funding Circle's total investments to £300 million, with the firm claiming that the latest funding round is the largest European investment in a fintech company since 2015.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, said: "Funding Circle has become a real success story for British fintech and news that it has attracted £80 million of investment is further evidence of the growing importance of this industry.

"This is another vote of confidence in a UK firm that plays an important role in our economy - helping businesses to grow and create jobs."

Funding Circle, which facilitates lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SME), claims to have set a global record last year after more than £1.1 billion was directly invested in SMEs through its platform last year.

Lending through the platform - which includes its UK, US, and European operations - since its launch in 2010 has now passed £2.5 billion.

Commenting on the equity investment announcement, chief executive and co-founder Samir Desai, said: "Funding Circle is changing the financial landscape for small businesses and investors globally, ensuring a better deal for everyone and helping to create a more sustainable and fairer economy."

"Today's news is the next step on our journey to create a category-defining company that helps thousands of small businesses access finance and create jobs."

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