Funding Circle agrees £300m venture with Magnetar for SME lending

The deal between the lending tech platform and the alternative asset manager will provide more capital for UK small businesses to invest and grow.

UK-based lender Funding Circle has entered a partnership with Magnetar Capital UK to deploy £300 million ($367 million; €349 million) to lend to UK small businesses.

The deal will see Magnetar UK support thousands of SMEs using Funding Circle’s technology and distribution platform, which the firms say will give Magnetar an efficient and cost-effective mechanism to deploy capital to the real economy.

Funding Circle’s machine learning technology enables small businesses to apply for finance in an average of six minutes, with decisions delivered in a little as nine seconds.

Aidan McKeown, portfolio manager at Magnetar UK, said: “Magnetar UK has an established track record of successfully partnering with banks and other financial institutions, including fintech companies, to provide creative funding solutions to growing businesses. We are delighted to now join forces with Funding Circle to generate financing solutions that will continue to fuel entrepreneurialism across the UK and help SMEs thrive.”

Funding Circle already has a number of other partnerships to enable institutional investors, including banks, asset managers, insurance companies and fund to lend to small businesses. In May 2022 it signed an agreement to deploy £1 billion through its platform on behalf of Waterfall Asset Management.