NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Borro, an online platform for luxury asset-backed lending, today announced it has raised $19.5 million in funding, led by OurCrowd and Rocket Internet. Borro is a leader in the alternative lending sector, which is one of the fastest growing segments of the Financial Technology sector. This funding will be used to fuel Borro's continued, rapid growth across the US and the UK.
Borro powers a unique platform for offering fast and efficient loans, where individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners can use luxury assets --including fine art, antiques, jewelry, luxury watches, fine wine, prestige and classic cars -- as collateral for loans. Borro launched in the UK in 2009, the U.S. in 2012, and has extended close to $200 million in luxury asset-backed loans since its inception.
"This funding will enable us to accelerate our growth in our core US and UK businesses. We will continue to grow through our already successful partnership channels as well as our expansion into new product areas," said Paul Aitken, founder and CEO of Borro.
Over $6 million of the capital invested came from OurCrowd, the leading equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors. Rocket Internet increased its stake in Borro to 10 percent, and existing investors Canaan Partners, Eden Ventures, and Augmentum Capital also participated in the funding round.
"In less than two years, OurCrowd went from participating in early seed rounds, to now leading a $19.5 million funding round together with global venture capital firms such as Canaan and renowned internet company, Rocket Internet," said Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd. "Working with Borro marks the single largest equity crowdfunding round ever completed and demonstrates how equity crowdfunding can complement traditional funding sources. We are thrilled to be investing in quality companies like Borro that are redefining the FinTech industry."
"Financial Technology is one of the most attractive and fastest growing online sectors and continues to be a key focus sector for Rocket Internet," said CEO of Rocket Internet Oliver Samwer. "The financial services sector is ready for major disruption by innovative online companies. Borro is clearly one of them and with our investment we underline our belief in the company's highly promising development and expansion potential."
With this funding, Borro will fuel long-term growth and aims to exponentially increase its lending volume over the next couple years. In 2014, Borro raised $112 million of debt from Victory Park Capital to expand its pool of capital to lend to clients. This round pushes Borro's total capital raised to over $200 million.
Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC (together "FT Partners") were the exclusive advisors to Borro on this transaction.
Borro launched in 2009 in the UK, and has gone on to open offices in New York and Los Angeles. It is the leading online platform for luxury asset-backed lending and has defined a new lending category in a climate where loans to individuals, SMEs and entrepreneurs were few and far between.
Borro offers loans from $5,000 - $2,000,000 secured against luxury assets including fine art, antiques, jewelry, luxury watches, fine wine, prestige and classic cars and other high value assets.
Borro investors include: Canaan Partners (Lending Club), Eden Ventures, Augmentum Capital. Borro's board of directors includes Nigel Morris (co-founder Capital One) as Chairman, and Paul Gratton (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct).
OurCrowd is the leading hybrid venture capital equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors who wish to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. Managed by a team of well-known investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. Members choose those deals they invest in via OurCrowd-managed partnerships. OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal. OurCrowd provides post investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats. OurCrowd has raised over $100 million in equity crowdfunding for its 57 portfolio companies which include leading companies, such as: BillGuard, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch, Abe's Market and ReWalk, OurCrowd's first portfolio company to complete a successful IPO on the NASDAQ. Visit us online: www.ourcrowd.com.
About Rocket Internet AG (RKET)
Rocket's mission is to become the world's largest Internet platform outside of China and the United States. Rocket identifies and builds proven Internet business models and transfers them to new, underserved or untapped markets where it seeks to scale them into market leading online companies. Rocket is focused on online business models that satisfy basic consumer needs across three sectors: e-Commerce, marketplaces and financial technology.
Rocket started in 2007 and now has more than 25,000 employees across its network of companies, which operate in more than 100 countries on five continents. Rocket Internet AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN DE000A12UKK6, RKET). For further information visit www.rocket-internet.com.