Plend lends £0.5m since launching in May



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.

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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.

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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.