BLEND scores late-seed funding to fuel growth

Peer-to-peer property lending platform BLEND Network has completed £10m of late-seed round financing.
BLEND launched earlier this year with the claim that it could make the property market more efficient while delivering double-digit return to investors.
The financing round, which BLEND said was oversubscribed, saw a combination of equity to scale the business and commitments to lend on the platform, and was supported by a number of investors including Cyrus Ardalan, former Vice Chairman of Barclays and current Chairman of OakNorth Bank and Citigroup Global Markets, the Family Office of former CEO and current Chairman of Publicis Group Maurice Levy and Jean-Phillipe Blochet, co-founder of Brevan Howard.
This fresh investment, it said, will help it expand its deal underwriting and marketing efforts, as well as broaden and accelerate product development.
“We are very excited to get the support from such high-profile investors,” said Yann Murciano, Chief Executive at BLEND Network. “Each of our new investors brings a lot of experience to the table. Furthermore, they are all lenders on our deals, which we believe is the right thing to do in order to ensure that we maintain the quality of the deals on our platform. This year, we have proven the model. Next year, it’s all about scaling it while maintaining the high level of enhanced due diligence for which we pride ourselves.”
BLEND Network is a peer-to-peer property lending platform where lenders can invest in property-secured loans at an average 12% return per annum. Private lenders are able to co-invest from £1,000 with high net worth lenders in the same deal, in a move that BLEND said is leading to the increasing ‘democratisation’ of investing.

Prior to this era of financial liberalisation, retail investors had difficulty accessing the more exclusive deals only available to institutional investors offering very large sums. This platform will allow anyone with discretionary capital to co-invest in deals, greatly widening the investment population able to put capital into the high profile deals, whilst also allowing small and medium sized entrepreneurs to access finance to fund their projects.

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