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Funding Circle’s co-founder Samir Desai secures $30M to launch new payments startup

Samir Desai

Samir Desai, the co-founder of Funding Circle, a UK lending platform for small businesses, has reportedly secured $30M from investors for his new fintech startup – Super Payments. Desai’s new startup aims to disrupt Visa and MasterCard, reports Sky News.

As per reports, Desai, who stepped down as Funding Circle CEO last year, was backed by Silicon Valley heavyweights Accel Partners (early backers of Facebook), LocalGlobe, and Union Square Ventures at a pre-money valuation of $60M. 

The details about Desai’s startup Super Payments are still under wraps, but the report states that “it would be aimed at taking market share from the payments industry’s biggest names.”

However, Samir Desai remains a non-executive director on its board and currently holds a 4.5% stake in the London-listed company, which floated in 2018. According to Sky News, his share is worth £13m currently. 

Notably, Desai’s new venture will not compete with Funding Circle. Further, his participation with Super Payments was already approved by the company’s board, reports Sky News. 

A spokesperson for Funding Circle says, “The board discussed, and are supportive of, Samir’s desire to explore a new business venture, whilst continuing as a committed long-term shareholder and valued member of Funding Circle’s board.”

Last September, the London-based fintech startup announced Samir Desai along with the H1 2021 results. He was replaced by Lisa Jacobs, an executive who leads Funding Circle’s core UK business.

During H1 2021, the company reported a pre-tax profit of £35M, compared with a £115M loss in H1 2022. The revenues climbed 19 per cent, to £121M, reports Financial Times. 

Samir Desai: Backstory

Samir Desai co-founded Funding Circle in 2019 along with Andrew Mullinger, and James Meekings. 

Funding Circle is a small and medium enterprise (SME) loans platform. Since launching in 2010, investors and lenders across Funding Circle’s geographies – including retail investors, banks, specialty finance companies, asset management companies, insurance companies, government-backed entities, and funds – have lent approximately £13B to 120,000 businesses globally.

In Funding Circle, Mr. Desai was responsible for driving the company strategy, overseeing the company’s finances, and managing the day-to-day operations at Funding Circle.

Samir has worked extensively in the financial services sector. Before founding Funding Circle he was an executive at Olivant and a management consultant at BCG, advising a number of the major UK and global banks and insurers on strategy, new product initiatives, and operational efficiency.

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