New peer-to-peer lending platform Plend has delivered more than £500,000 in consumer loans since launching in beta mode in mid-May.
The beta stage was initially set to last for six months, but due to higher-than-expected demand from borrowers, the platform ended it early and opened the platform to the public at the beginning of July instead.
Since mid-May, the platform has processed more than £7.2m in loan requests, with only prime borrowers being approved.
Rob Pasco, chief executive and co-founder of Plend, said that the platform is aiming to have lent out £14m by the end of 2022.
“Its been amazing, but also mad,” Pasco said. “The hardest thing for us has been dealing with so many applications. A lot of people are looking to get low-cost credit at the moment.
“The next big challenge for us is how we ramp this up further. We have a target of £14m by the end of this year. Our next objective is to scale up so we can process more loans.”
At present, Plend’s loans are funded by a mix of sophisticated, experienced and high-net-worth investors, as well as a family office. Pasco hopes to open the platform more generally to all retail investors next year.
Once this happens, Pasco said Plend may choose to launch its own Innovative Finance ISA.
“Our focus is getting the borrowing capability scaled so we can reach our £14m target,” he said. “Next year possibly we’ll look at opening up the general lending side.”
Plend became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2022, after a two-year approval process.
Its average borrower rate is just under 14 per cent, while investor rates vary. The platform is expected to announce a new institutional backer soon.