FundingCircle was started in the UK in 2010, and later expanded to the US with the acquisition of Endurance Lending (which had begun lending in 2013).
Types of investments Funding Circle offers
The biggest differentiator for FundingCircle compared with other P2P lending platforms like Upstartand Prosperis that they only lend to businesses, and their loans are all secured by the business assets (and there is a personal guarantee by the borrower).
What do you get when investing with Funding Circle?
Investors receive fractional interests in “borrower-dependent payment notes”, entitling them to a pro-rata share of payments received by the borrower.
How does Funding Circle make money?
FundingCircle offers fractional investments in small-business loans (P2P lending). While they remain open to indivdiual (accredited) investors, they’ve raised their minimum investment amount consdierably to $250,000 (from $50,000).
Potential returns and cashflow
Unlike most of the other P2P lending platforms, FundingCircle does not appear to publish much about their loans’ historic performance. The loans themselves carry coupon rates between 4.99% and 27.79%, though the specific return for any investor will depend on the specific mix of notes.
Regulatory framework and due diligence expectations
FundingCircle (through their affiliate) is a registered broker-dealer. (you can review their entry via FINRA’s BrokerCheck service). Broker-dealers are subject to specific due-diligence requirements to ensure an investment is “suitable” for their registered customers, or they can face fines and civil action. (That does not of course provide any guarantees about investment return or performance!). Investments are offered via SEC Reg D, and are only available to accredited investors.