SME secured lending platform ThinCats has been acquired by a new market entrant.
ESF Capital has taken a 73.4% stake in ThinCats from its existing owners, which has lent more than £140m since its foundation five years ago.
ThinCats has lent more than £140m to UK businesses in five years of operation. ESF invests in, and underwrites the loans on, select European P2P platforms, and aims to grow of such platforms.
ThinCats and ESF have been working together for a number of months and have a detailed plan to accelerate ThinCats’ market presence.
ESF’s CEO, John Mould, has taken on the role of CEO of ThinCats with overall responsibility for driving the business’ growth strategy and delivering a raft of benefits for borrowers and lenders. Founder Kevin Caley is chairman with responsibility for innovation and Peter Brown retains his post as finance director.
The investment from ESF will allow ThinCats to carry out planned platform improvements and develop new products to help expand ThinCats’ footprint in the UK.
Caley said: “Over the past five years, ThinCats has become highly valued by a network of hundreds of experienced DIY investors who bring a unique ‘crowd due diligence’ to the platform in return for market-leading interest rates.
“This investment by ESF is the fuel we need to take the ThinCats platform up a gear, to retain and extend this core lender base and to attract a broader range of investors. It’s a big step forward for the platform, and will allow ThinCats to cement its place as one of the UK’s big four peer to peer providers.”
Mould added: “ThinCats sits on unique foundations. It has the largest average loan size in the sector, and has been first to market with a number of innovative financial products. The injection of capital and expertise we are bringing to the platform from ESF will focus on strengthening these foundations, pushing loan sizes higher, and developing both products and platform to attract a wide range of investors.
“The peer to peer lending industry is truly coming of age, and today one of the longest of tooth gets a little sharper.”