Borrowell, a soon-to-launch Canadian marketplace lending platform offering unsecured consumer loans, today announced that it has received $5.4 million in seed funding and commitments to its loan platform.
Key investors include Equitable Bank (a Canadian Schedule 1 bank) and Oakwest Corporation Limited (a private investment company owned and managed by the Beutel family), as well as a group of notable individual investors including Roger Martin, John Bitove, and Dan Debow.
“We’re very encouraged by the speed and success of this initial funding round, which suggests that our strategic partners see the same vast potential in the Canadian prime lending space that we’ve identified,” says Andrew Graham, CEO, Borrowell. “When it comes to borrowing money, there are traditional options and expensive options, and we think it’s time for an innovative option.”
Marketplace lending allows institutional lenders to fund consumer loans, displacing traditional financial intermediaries such as banks and other financial institutions. Marketplace lending and similar forms of consumer lending such as “peer-to-peer lending” are rapidly gaining traction and visibility south of the border and around the world, though a gap remains in the Canadian market. Borrowell intends to transform consumer lending, much like other digital businesses have in sectors including retail, travel, and recorded music.
“Equitable Bank shares Borrowell’s vision of providing Canadians with innovative alternatives in the financial services sector, and we’re looking forward to playing a role in their success,” says Andrew Moor, CEO, Equitable Bank. “We have always felt that choice is important, and Borrowell adds a long overdue new borrowing option for Canadians.”
Borrowell will use the funds to launch a lending platform for Canadian borrowers in Q1 2015, powered by technology that provides instant loan approval for qualified borrowers. Funds will also be used to expand Borrowell’s growing team.
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