Upfront Car Finance gets backing from UK Bond Network

By Lisa Walls-Hester on Monday 19 September 2016

Alternative Lending

Upfront Car Finance plc, a specialist vehicle finance provider for Uber drivers, has secured £3.5m of funding from peer-to-peer bond platform UK Bond Network.

Upfront is a driver-centric, flexible and secured car finance product for hybrid vehicles, which uses Uber earnings data to form lending decisions. It emerged from the challenge of a large churn rate among Uber drivers due to high vehicle rental cost.

The concept was developed and tested with a small number of vehicles and then further expanded to a healthy pipeline of drivers before Upfront approached UK Bond Network to source a strategic finance solution which would help grow the business.

Upfront’s finance solution comprises two bonds: a £450,000 senior secured bond (Series A) paying nine per cent and a £50,000 subordinated secured bond (Series B) paying 20 per cent. Both series have a three-year maturity and are secured against tangible assets.

Jonathan Samuels, CEO, and founder of Upfront Car Finance said: “UK Bond Network provided a novel finance solution at an important time for our business. With a driver pipeline greater than cars available, the funding will help us to deploy more vehicles and scale more quickly; UK Bond Network offered what we wanted, with the added benefit of certainty of funding.”

Chris Maule, CEO and founder of UK Bond Network, added: “Upfront Car Finance is the sort of business we’re increasingly used to helping, a highly innovative, high potential SME in a growth sector, led by able and well-qualified people such as Jonathan and his team. We’re delighted to be assisting Upfront in achieving its growth goals, whilst providing investors with some much-needed yield in the current meagre interest rate environment.”

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