INTERNATIONAL - Funding Circle Holdings sold shares at the bottom of the range, raising about 300 million pounds ($392 million) for the company, in what could be seen as indication of waning investor demand for fintech investments.
The eight-year-old British online loan provider sold its shares at 440 pence-apiece, giving the company a market value of 1.5 billion pounds, it said in a statement on Friday. Funding Circle shares rose as much 4.6 percent in trading by professional investors at its open in London. Retail investors will be allowed to trade the stock next week.
London-based Funding Circle, formed in 2010 by three friends from Oxford University, was initially a peer-to-peer lender that matched individual retail investors with small companies. Unlike LendingClub, it never focused on consumers. As it grew, Funding Circle turned to other sources of funding, like big insurers and government agencies seeking to get more credit into the economy.
The initial public offering has been viewed as a measure of the strength Europe’s fintech sector after Dutch payment processor Adyen NV more than doubled on its first day of public trading in June, only to slide earlier this month when insiders sold more stock.
“We have always believed Funding Circle would be well-suited to the public markets,” Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Samir Desai said. “The UK is a great place to start and grow a Fintech business and we are proud of today’s accomplishment.”