Linked Finance Hits €200m in SME Lending Milestone

Peer-to-peer lending platform Linked Finance says it has loaned over €200m to SMEs since its inception nine years ago after doubling its annual lending over the past two years.

More than 3,330 SMEs have now borrowed from the company, which said it is on track to lend €45m in 2022 and has forecast annualized lending of €100m in 2024 due to banks becoming more cautious to risk and the exits of Ulster Bank and KBC.

Linked Finance has provided finance to business across retail, transportation and construction, and this year has expanded its product portfolio with the introduction of the Merchant Cash Advance in February and increasing its maximum loan size to €500,000 in June.

It took Linked Finance six years to reach €100m in total lending, with the second €100m taking half that time.

“Hitting the €200m milestone in loans clearly demonstrates the success of a simple, fast SME lending model,” they said Niall O’GradyCEO of Linked Finance.

“This is particularly important when the banks are either too slow for SMEs or leaving the country completely. Our platform regularly connects Irish SMEs with retail lenders who recognize their enormous potential and want to invest in them.

“Linked Finance is introducing new products and increasing limits on existing loans to ensure we stay ahead of the banks. We pride ourselves on providing a model that is efficient and transparent, allowing Irish businesses to take control of their finances and meet their objectives.”

Andy Byrne (left), co-founder of Schoobooks.ie, with Niall O’Grady. (Pic: Jason Clarke)

Sample companies that have raised funding with Linked Finance in the past include the Rolling Donut, Kokoro Sushi Bento, Lolly & Cooks and Murphy’s Ice Cream.

At present, half of business loans issued by Linked Finance are to repeat customers such as Schoolbooks.ie, whose co-founder Andy Byrne said: “Linked Finance has been our go-to stocking loans provider in recent years.

“When we needed to scale up art and craft supplies and school-book stock to meet homeschooling demands during the lockdown they were there to provide the finance we needed.”

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