LendInvest eyeing listed fund for 2016

The short-term mortgage lender hopes to raise £150m to lend via its own platform. The marketplace lender also reported more than doubled annual profits of £3.1 million.

Marketplace lending platform LendInvest is working on launching a listed investment trust in the first half of 2016. 

The firm, which spun-out from real estate lender Montello Bridging Finance in 2013, originates secured short-term bridging finance for real estate. 

The plan, first reported by The Financial Times, is to raise around £150 million ($232 million; €203 million) from a London listing and offer investors an 8 percent yield, PDI understands. 

A spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment beyond a statement from LendInvest co-founder Christian Faes: “A listed fund is an attractive proposition and one that would make a lot of sense for our business. We are already experienced fund managers with two unlisted funds, so a listed fund would complement our existing offering very well.” 

The vehicle will join a string of other London Stock Exchange-listed investment trusts focused on marketplace lending. It will differ from most of those that have gone before, however, with its focus on a single platform. P2P Global Investments, VPC Specialty Lending and Ranger Direct Lending all lend their capital via a number of different marketplace lenders. 

The LendInvest vehicle will channel the cash into the firm’s own platform, much like Funding Circle’s recently announced investment trust. Funding Circle SME Income Fund announced in September that it would seek to raise £150 million from the initial public offering and is promising investors a yield of 6-7 percent. 

GLI Alternative Finance, managed by GLI Finance which holds equity stakes in 19 marketplace lenders, raised £52.7 million of its £100 million target when it listed on the LSE in September. Like Funding Circle, it focuses on loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises. It is targeting a net dividend yield of 8 percent. 

Since the listing, it has acquired £4.67 million in loans with gross yields of 9.86 percent from its manager, GLI Asset Management and another £1.25 million portfolio set to pay a gross yield of 10 percent from a subsidiary of GLI Finance, Sancus Limited. 

This week, LendInvest reported profits of £3.1 million from £15 million in revenues for the year ending 31 March, compared with £1.2 million and £5 million, respectively, last year.