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Founders of Monzo and Starling Bank back £40M seed round of ethical lender Plend to end financial exclusion

Image credits: Plend

Plend, a London-based ethical consumer lending platform, has secured £40 million in a seed funding round from new investors, including Leon & Soho House backers Active Partners, Velocity Juice, Sivo, and the founders from Monzo (Gary Dolman and Paul Rippon), Starling Bank, and Oodle Car Finance.

Existing investors, including Ascension, Tomahawk VC, DD Venture Capital, and Haatch, participated.

The capital will help scale the business into 2023, focusing on acquiring new customers via new partners and reaching new audiences who find themselves excluded from the current credit system.

Say no to financial exclusion

Robert Pasco and James Pursaill founded Plend in 2020 to disrupt the £32 billion consumer lending market by bringing affordable loans to over 20 million people in the UK.

The UK company offers longer-term, sustainable loans at fair interest rates for borrowers missing out due to traditional credit scoring.

Following its launch in July 2022, the company claims to have processed over £40m in loan applications through the consumer lending platform.

Further, the company says the loan book is increasing 20% monthly.

With the recent funding and newly formed partnerships with Monevo and ClearScore, Plend is ramping up more than double its lending by the end of the year.

Plend also launched its first fully embedded ‘green finance’ product this year, supporting customers with low-interest loans to purchase green energy installations such as solar panels and heat pumps via its partnership with MakeMyHouseGreen.

Rob Pasco, CEO and Co-founder of Plend says, “This new round of funding caps off an amazing year for Plend. Since launching our first affordable credit product to consumers this year, we have been able to help so many people get access to the money they need to get on with their lives at affordable and fair rates. We are thrilled to work with our newest investment partners to provide a truly ethical alternative to the broken credit scoring system that locks many people out of the market, especially during economic turbulence and rising interest rates.”

Nick Green, Seed Investor at Active Partners, says, “We’re delighted to be investing in Plend. With their innovative technology, they are creating a fairer lending environment and improving the lives of many consumers currently burdened with high-interest loans. Rob, James, and the team have impressed us with their passion, creativity, and ambition, and we look forward to supporting them in their next growth stage.”

Emma Steele, Partner at Ascension, adds, “Everyone deserves equal access to financial services and a chance to unlock their ambition, which is why paving the way for an affordable alternative to the flawed credit system is so important. Plend’s work to offer sustainable loans at fair interest rates has been impressive in a short time, and we are excited to see more going into 2023.”

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