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Matheson advises in connection with the launch of Funding Circle SME Income Fund
Matheson acted as sole Irish legal and tax counsel in connection with the launch of Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited (the “Fund”), which includes an Irish special purpose company established for the purposes of lending to UK small and medium sized businesses ("SMEs") on Funding Circle’s UK marketplace lending platform.
After successfully raising £150 million, the Fund listed on the premium segment of the Official List and began trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market for listed securities on 30 November 2015. The Fund will provide investors with exposure to loans originated by Funding Circle to SMEs through its platforms in the UK, US and Europe. Funding Circle is the largest UK marketplace business lending platform, and in aggregate, was the fifth highest net lender to SMEs in the UK in the first quarter of 2015. In the US, more than US$55 million was lent via the Funding Circle US marketplace in the first quarter of 2015. In addition to the UK and US, Funding Circle has recently expanded its operations, by acquisition of the leading continental European business lending marketplace, into Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. It is the first time a marketplace lending platform has raised its own permanent capital vehicle.
Alan Keating, Partner in Matheson’s Structured Finance Group, led the Matheson team advising Funding Circle. Commenting on the transaction, Alan said “The marketplace lending sector continues to grow at pace, providing much needed capital to SMEs. We were pleased to work with Funding Circle on this pioneering transaction. We expect continued interest from investors in this exciting new asset class."