The principle of Funding Circle as a lender to entrepreneurs is crowdfunding. Investors can register separately on the platform, and choose how much (from € 100) they want to lend, and to which companies. Registering as an investor is free of charge and without obligation. Funding Circle was founded with crowdsourcing of corporate credit as a goal in the United Kingdom, but now also operates in other European countries and the United States.
Funding Circle’s crowdfunding concept has benefits for investors and entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur you can apply for credit for a specific purpose, which investors can see. Such a request will be assessed within 24 hours, after which you will receive a non-binding offer. If you agree, your credit application will be open for a few days to investors who can subscribe to it. Once the required credit amount has been achieved, payment is made. You can apply for credit for crowdfunding of € 10,000 to € 250,000, with a term of 6 to 60 months (5 years).
Cost of a loan with Funding Circle
- Credit application, credit check and offer are free and without obligation.
- Funding Circle offers a high level of service: you receive free personal advice and an account manager.
- The only costs that are charged to entrepreneurs are interest and a credit brokerage rate, the amount of which depends on the term.
- Repayments are made by direct debit: you do not have to worry about it.
- Early repayment does not result in a penalty.
- You have committed investors and you generate attention for your company profile through crowdfunding.
- You will receive an assessment within 24 hours: very quickly compared to other providers!
- Waiting for investors can take a few days to weeks – so you may have to wait a long time for your money.
- It is also possible that you will not be able to collect the full amount of credit required through Funding Circle.
- Mediation costs are deducted from the amount paid out.
Method and conditions of Funding Circle
Because Funding Circle does not provide money directly, but acts as a mediation platform between entrepreneurs and investors, applying for and providing the credit is different than with many online corporate credit providers. You must count on a longer lead time and a stricter check process for your credit application, and bear in mind that the requested amount is not or only partially met.
Applying for credit at Funding Circle is done online, but you must also submit various documents: annual accounts, bank statements, a recent income tax return and possibly additional documentation. Once all the required documents have been received, they will be assessed by experts, including on the basis of a credit check. You will usually receive a message about this within two working days.
Funding Circle will classify your credit application in a certain class based on the credit check performed. This class determines how much interest and brokerage fees you have to pay. You will be informed of this in the form of an offer. If you accept this offer, Funding Circle will release your credit application to investors for three weeks. Funding Circle can extend this period once or pay part of the credit if the full credit amount has not been reached.
You pay back to the investors via monthly, automatic collections. Funding Circle collects this and will take care of the distribution among the investors. These payments are only repayments and interest. Bear in mind that Funding Circle will deduct the brokerage costs for your credit in one go when paying out the loan amount to you. You will therefore receive less than you have requested.
- The minimum turnover of your company is € 30,000 per year (excluding VAT).
- You must be able to submit a minimum of 2 full 12-month annual accounts for a credit application.
- The company is established in the Netherlands and registered with the Chamber of Commerce.
- The owner of the company lives in the Netherlands and personally guarantees the loan.