RateSetter Turns Five, Tops £800m Mark

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 6 October 2015

Alternative Lending

Major peer-to-peer lender RateSetter is now five years removed from launch.

Launched in October 2010, RateSetter quickly became a force to be reckoned with within the UK peer-to-peer lending space. The platform has lent a cumulative total of £816m to date, according to the Liberum AltFi Volume Index UK, and boasts a 19.09% share of the peer-to-peer lending market over the past three months. The platform has indicated that it expects to lend around £500m this year. The platform is currently ranked third for cumulative lending to date amongst UK P2P platforms. 

RateSetter has been trading profitably in recent times, having posted £618,468 of profit before tax in the 2014/15 financial year. Also singling out the platform from its competitors has been its stance on institutional money. Recent AltFi Data analysis showed that the platform had entirely stemmed the flow of institutional funding between June and August.

But RateSetter now has firm plans in place for accelerating growth. RateSetter recently announced that the marketplace would once again play host to institutional money. Where previously P2PGI money had accounted for around 5% of the platform’s lending volume (between May 2014 and May 2015), the contributions of the Marshall Wace backed fund will account for roughly 3% of the capital at work within the marketplace going forwards. Whilst the actual amount of institutional money may rise (potentially to as high as 30% in the medium term), we were told that P2PGI's 3% allocation would not. This shift in stance is just one part of a general “scale up”, which will likely see the company make a loss both in this year and in the next financial year. 

RateSetter’s scale up phase will be fuelled by the £20m in equity money which was secured in March 2015, via a round that was led by Woodford Investment Management and Artemis.

Retail investors will continue to reside at the heart of the RateSetter proposition. The platform hosts a community of over 26,000 active investors, and the number is reportedly growing rapidly. All of these individual investors are guarded by RateSetter’s signature “Provision Fund” – which has ensured that not a single loss has been sustained by any of these individual investors to date.   

RateSetter boss Rhydian Lewis weighed in:

“Over the last five years RateSetter has led the way in showing that finance can work in the best interests of consumers.  We have reduced the cost of borrowing and increased returns for investors, empowering people to decide the fair level of interest rates.  I am proud to say that thanks to our prudent underwriting and our Provision Fund model, not one individual RateSetter investor has lost a penny since our launch.”

“I’m very excited about the next five years.  Our vision is that RateSetter will transform the UK’s finance landscape, with the RateSetters’ Rate becoming a benchmark interest rate recognised as the going rate for money.”

Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.