Who are ThinCats?
ThinCats are one of the pioneers of the peer-to-peer business lending industry; specialising in loans with security and linking experienced investors directly with established business borrowers to provide a serious alternative to high street banks. The company was founded in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, with the aim of offering loans to UK businesses struggling to access funding through traditional channels, whilst providing investors with attractive rates of interest unavailable through many conventional investment portfolios.
A key element of the ThinCats’ ethos has always been to avoid the algorithm-led decision making often used by banks; the founders were keen to hear the stories behind the borrowers’ investment needs, and assess each one based on its merits. The company continues to work in this way, harnessing the knowledge of financial experts to assess each loan application, thereby encouraging growth, development and innovation in UK business.
The history of ThinCats
Kevin Caley and Peter Brown formed the idea for a company offering fixed term secured loans to businesses, with lower risk than equity, providing a regular income for investors – the idea for the world’s first peer to business lender.
Business Loan Network Ltd was established to operate the ThinCats platform; so called to underline the major differences from the stereotyped ‘fat cat bankers’.
The ThinCats online peer to peer lending platform was launched; one of the very first, and the only one to specialise in secured loans that were all vetted by experienced financial experts.
Steadily growing, with 350 active lenders and an average loan size of £170,000, ThinCats was ready to take on loans above £1million. This would require significant underwriting, and potential investors were sought.
ThinCats joined as a member of the Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA).
ThinCats launches Australian venture.
A deal was agreed with ESO Capital Group as underwriters, and work commenced to update the software and systems to facilitate bigger and better loans.
ESF Capital, subsidiary of ESO, acquired a 73.4% stake in ThinCats, with plans to significantly invest in infrastructure, resources and personnel to further improve the experience for borrowers, Sponsors and investors across the board.
Europe’s largest non-property P2P loan, £3.5 million for insurance group LAMP, was listed on the ThinCats platform.
Loan grading was introduced, to further help investors evaluate loans to support their investment decisions, and the growing team at ThinCats took up residence in new, larger offices in Ashby de la Zouch.
Milestone of £200 million worth of loans arranged through ThinCats platform.
ThinCats became proud patrons of NACFB, the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, and received the highest rating of 5 Star Rating from Defaqto, the industry standard for assessing the quality of financial products.
Big Society Capital, government backed financial institution ‘with a social mission’, partnered with ThinCats to offer Social Investment loans with £2million worth of match funding.
The first Community Investment loan through Community Development Finance Institution, ART, listed on the platform, offering the opportunity to invest in local, community organisations and receive tax relief.
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