Aegon has entered a strategic partnership with online lending platform, Funding Circle. In the first year, the move will provide a cash boost for 2,600 small- and medium-sized companies, and create a potential 6,400 UK jobs.
The four-year strategic cooperation between Aegon and Funding Circle marks the first time that a Dutch financial service provider of its scale will provide direct loans to small businesses online.
Funding Circle bridges the finance gap for small- to medium-sized businesses while providing investors with higher returns.
What comes around, goes around
As a result of the £160 million (approx. €175 million) Aegon investment, 2,600 UK companies will receive funding over the first 12 months of the collaboration. This funding in turn could create up to 6,400 new jobs.
Mike de Boer, CFO of Aegon Bank, said: "The cooperation with Funding Circle underlines the importance of investing in successful businesses. On the one hand, because it provides good returns, but also because these investments allow small businesses – which are usually difficult to finance – to be successful. Many of our customers are self-employed, and we have used the high savings inflow from our fintech banking operation – Knab – to invest in Funding Circle loans, among other things."
Using data analysis, Funding Circle assess whether a company has potential and provide immediate clarity to entrepreneurs about a possible loan. The platform is transparent about costs, making it easy for both entrepreneurs and investors to see exactly what they pay for.
Best of British
Funding Circle was founded in 2010 and is the leading platform for loans in the UK. Since its inception, it has provided more than 26,000 British companies with funding, and it has more than 65,000 current investors.
Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle said: "This collaboration shows that there are increasing opportunities alongside the traditional bank, for both investors and entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business. It is nice that in the coming years we can have a positive influence on the British economy by stimulating activity and creating new jobs."
Aegon collaborates with a number of innovative funding platforms such as Zopa, auxmoney and Younited Credit.