Ablrate Enters SME Lending Space

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 11 August 2015

Alternative Lending

Ablrate is changing up its secured lending proposition.

The Ablrate platform will now offer investors access to commercial property backed deals, thanks to a partnership with The Just Loan Group. Ablrate’s bread and butter business up until now has been to funnel investment into asset-backed loans against aircraft transactions. The Just Loans Group targets growing UK businesses and has lent just over £10m to date, having launched 18 months ago. The company will now be placing “buckets” of SME loan deals onto the Ablrate platform for funding. The first of these tranches will seek to raise £500k, but ultimately the programme plans to facilitate up to £10m of funding for UK small businesses. 

For context, The Just Loans Group is divided into three: Just Cash Flow, Just Finance and Investments (which involves taking equity in companies as part of supplying flexible, long term finance) and Just Bridging Loans. We must assume that this latest partnership involves the latter.

David Bradley-Ward, CEO of Ablrate, commented:

"This collaboration represents a fantastic way for Ablrate's investor community to grow and be presented with a wide range of lending options. The Just Loans Group PLC brings a high quality, asset-backed lending proposition that complements our existing niche offering, allowing investors on our platform added value."

The platform’s decision to branch out into a new asset class, as a complement to its aircraft-backed leasing deals – makes a lot of sense. Indeed, the relatively young Ablrate is following in the footsteps of P2P lenders past. FundingKnight, for example, is now in property space, thanks to a partnership with Alternative Bridging Corporation. It would appear that partnering up is the favoured method for nascent peer-to-business lenders to break into pastures new.

Ablrate has had a busy few weeks. The platform unveiled a shiny new secondary market function midway through July. The team indicated then that it was sitting on somewhere between £50m and £100m in deal flow. The true extent of the pipeline will become apparent soon enough. What’s clear for now is that the platform is readying itself for a significant growth stretch. 

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