Samir Desai, James Meekings and Andrew Mullinger: Funding Circle

Encouraging investment into small businesses by leaving the banks out of it

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Samir Desai, James Meekings (right) and Andrew Mullinger, 29
Funding Circle

The concept of sidestepping the banks is an appealing one at present. At Funding Circle, people directly lend their money to small businesses in the UK, supporting the core of the economy in the process. Investors lend from as little as £20 and spread their risk by lending to hundreds of different companies, while businesses gain access to fast finance.

The co-founders are hoping Funding Circle can gain a share of the small business lending market, worth approximately £75bn. So too are its investors who include Carphone Warehouse’s Sir Charles Dunstone, Betfair founder Ed Wray, Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures. A total of £13.2m has been invested in Funding Circle since the business launched two years ago. The platform has already signed up over 20,000 members, with a total of more than £50 million lent small businesses.

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